IT is amazing how the first game of the season proper can bring players out of the woodwork. The Lions, having only fielded six players at selection night training went to Bermagui with 18 men (full team plus two for interchange).
Unfortunately for the Lions, the two man bench became zilch with ‘a player that shall remain nameless’ colliding with a stationary netball post, minutes before the opening bounce and newcomer, Dave Alaimo (who lit up the opening minutes of the game) rolling his ankle early on in the first quarter.
One thing I found quite stirring as a player, pre-game was the announcement of Lawrie Hodgson as the Lions’ captain for season 2014. Lawrie is a loyal, passionate Lions player who leads by example on the field. The Lions will win games in 2014 based on his example.
In difficult weather conditions and facing a fit, full Bermagui list, the Lions were always going to struggle and they did, losing by 94 points. The positive that came out of the loss was the Lions’ midfield, that ran without reprieve and matched Bermagui’s on ballers.
With (to name a few) Alexander Jones, Jason “Nugget” Sauiluma, Kim Harbottle, Steve Errington and ‘that guy that ran into a netball post’ to come into the side the Lions are a good chance of making the finals. Ninety four points is not a huge turn around in country football and there is a fountain of skilful youth, waiting in the wings for season 2015 as motivation for the present. Things can only improve for the Lions Seniors.
Scores across Round 2 of the SCAFL Senior Grade were:
Bermagui 20-21-141 defeated Narooma 7-5-47
Tathra 0-0-0 defeated by Pambula 0-0-140
Merimbula 21-12-138 defeated Bega 6-3-39
Eden - Bye
The Lions’ junior teams are a real positive once again this season and appear in great hands with Peter Hodge (U13s) and Mick Clothier (U16s) putting in significant coaching effort. This really paid off on the weekend with the U16s trouncing Bega by 165 points. Luke Wiggins continued his goal kicking form from 2013 with five, well supported by William Hodge with three. The team had 12 goal kickers which is testament to their teamwork.
For the U13s, some more development will have them being competitive later in the season. It is a difficult age to coach as it has a wide age range, however the coaching effort and enthusiasm by the players will pay off. The young Lions went down to Bermagui by 65 points.
The biggest test for the Lions as a club is to ride out a huge vacuum in committee and senior player participation. For a club with such a bright future it needs greater diligence and support by its leaders. For the sake of its 31 year, proud history and the wealth of talent coming through the juniors, the club needs people to continue to emerge from the woodwork and make the club strong again.
Having watched some of the U16s game, I can vouch for some real entertainment that can be had watching the earlier fixture. The young lads are the primary hope for Narooma and the level of skill on show is unbelievable for their age group. The Lions’ (all ages) play at home on Saturday, April 26 with game times as follows:
U13s – 9.30am
U16s – 11am
Reserves – 12.30pm
Seniors – 2.15pm