Young Lions Fight Off Late Zebra Charge

The Coburg Development League side have notched up their sixth win of the season with a 10-point victory over Sandringham at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Sunday.

With cold and blustery conditions playing havoc, the team was able to hold off a fast finishing Zebras outfit, winning 12.6 (78) to 9.14 (68).

It was a great opening quarter by the Lions, who used the strong breeze to their advantage, piling on five goals to one. The run and carry off half-back was exemplary, allowing the visitors to set up the game on their terms.

With the wind at their backs, the young Lions side managed to keep Sandy at bay taking a comfortable 20-point lead into the main change.

The second half saw Sandringham work themselves back into the contest kicking three of the first four goals of the second half. Goals to James Svarc and Ricky Schraven steadied the ship earning an even three-goal lead at the final change.

An exciting fourth quarter was on the cards and it didn’t disappoint. Fast paced and highly contested play was on show. Sandy continued to threaten but the Lions were able to hang on.

Matthew Merlo (22), Michael Ercolano (19) and Pat Lawlor (17) were the major ball winners, whilst Svarc added to his goal kicking tally with four majors.

A hard fought win that was thoroughly deserved, Head Coach Paul “PK” Kennnedy was very impressed with his young side.

“Today was a great opportunity for our young players to face the quality of Jason Holmes and Ben Long today, playing in a very talented Sandringham team,” Kennedy said.

“Chas Roberts’ performance against Holmes really showed his improvement across the season. While Holmes got the better of him, Chas really thought his way through the game and significantly limited Holmes’ impact, which was a key to our win.”

“On the other hand, Mitch Conn really got on top of Long – just as he did on Anthony Anastasio a few weeks ago against Port Melbourne – and has shown incredible improvement this year from a purely attacking defender to one who can beat high-quality opponents one-on-one.”

“This is what Development League footy is about, giving youngsters the opportunity to improve in a highly-professional setting, something that is quite hard to replicate in local footy.” the Head Coach continued.

“Our other best players were first-year guys Billy Cannolo, James Svarc and Cam McRorie, showing just how well our development pathway is working and helping these guys become quality senior footballers.”

Come down to Casey Fields next Sunday at 11am to get behind the Lions in their clash with Casey Demons.

Hear The Lions Roar!


Coburg: 5.2 7.4 10.5 12.6 (78)

Sandringham: 1.1 4.2 7.5 9.14 (68)

Goals: Svarc 4, Roberts, Lawlor, Dodge, Cannolo, McRorie, Velissaris, Ercolano and Schraven.

Best: Conn, Svarc, Cannolo, Sandric, McRorie and Ercolano.


Written by Marcus Walsh.