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Best: Venditti, Featherstone, Morton, Hartley, McConnell, Goodwin
Goals: Younan 3, Thomas 2, McConnell, Brandt, Miles, Featherstone, Cauchi
Coburg battled hard all day against the Grand Final runners-up but ultimately the hard working Box Hill midfield was too good for the young Lions, prevailing in a 20 point win.
The Lions hung it in with the Hawks in a highly contested ball match with both sides struggling to break free. But a 8 goal third term from the Hawks ensured that a Lions final quarter comeback would be hard to make up.
Debutant Robbie Fox's afternoon was marred with injury and only collected the three disposals after not playing in the majority of second half.
With the rain pouring down in the morning, the game was set up to be hotly contested around the stoppages and efficient ground work would be the key to success. A sense of anticipation was in the air, as two new recruits Tom Goodwin and Tom Miles were playing against their old side.
The Lions were missing captain Nick Carnell following a concussion late in last week's match against Richmond, with Ben Clifton taking the duties.
Neither side could truly break away comfortably in the first term, with the Lions just edging the clearance count 15 to 13 but couldn't effectively apply scoreboard pressure, with their only goal of the first quarter going to Errol McConnell, playing in his first senior match of 2015.
Similiarly, the second term caused the coaching staff frustration with wasted opportunities in the Lions' forward line. Despite being outworked by almost 50 possessions for the quarter, the Lions had more inside 50s than the Hawks, but could only manage 2.4, including a Tommy Miles goal against his old side.
Liam Hunt was racking up the disposals for Coburg. He had 19 of his 31 touches in the first half.
Conversely, the Hawks were punishing the wasteful Lions in the third term, kicking 8 goals to 3, with experienced Hawthorn players Alex Woodward, Jonathan Simpkin and Jed Anderson getting amongst the action providing a helping hand to star Box Hill forwards Tom Gordon and Peter McEvoy.
The only shining light for the Burgers of the quarter was the hard working vice-captain Danny Younan, who kicked all three of the Lions goals in the period.
The final 20 minutes proved that this young crop of talent will fight to the end. The Lions had moments of well-worked efforts at goal and were able to reduce the final margin to 20 points thanks to two final quarter goals from Nathan Thomas, as well as Daniel Venditti and Tom Goodwin stepping up their game in the midfield.
There were promising performances from Jordan Williams and Rory Lehmann, who despite a few moments where inexperience got the better of them, both showed signs of improvement in their young careers.
Box Hill's Alex Woodward picked up the Gibbs-Lines Medal for being best afield.
The Lions will now look to Frankston on Saturday afternoon, in the Channel 7 TV game, set to start at 12:00PM.