2014 has been a year of knocks for the Lions Senior list and, for the majority of the pre-season have anxiously waited for “maybe” players and those who seemed all but lost to the club return to field a side. The Lions managed to scrape up 18 players in the previous round which was reduced to 16, minutes into the first quarter, leaving them as toothless as a stereotypical Collingwood supporter.
Perhaps the biggest gaps in the Lion’s playing list were the lack of a specialist ruckman and Centre Half-forward, the team’s fangs if you like. Enter Alexander Jones (ruck) and Lance Musgrave (CHF), two of Narooma’s eleventh- hour signings who played their first game for the Lions 2014 campaign on Saturday.
Jones, who has plied his trade well with the Belconnen Magpies in recent years became the perfect accompaniment to the talented Lions midfield in Saturday’s game, leaping well above his Eden opponents to provide a silver service to the on-ball division. Musgrave became the tall target the Lions have yearned for with the added bonus of agility and pace across the centre of the ground.
By last Thursday’s selection night Ben McCulloch, Jason Sauiluma and Steve Errington had also confirmed their return after missing the Round 2 clash. Playing Coach, Rowan Hawkey was given an embarrassment of riches for which to select his Round 3 side from.
Having 20 men fit and available, in a league where even the 2013 Premiers, Tathra have struggled for numbers was a great motivator for the Lions. The gaps in the Lion’s jaw had now been restored and Narooma had a full set of sharp, pearly white teeth, ready to devour Eden.
Eden, who appeared significantly stronger than in previous years came out firing and kicked the first goal which was followed by a string of behinds by Narooma. The errant kicking would have had Coach, Hawkey pulling out his hair as the Lions, who dominated the clearances only kicked three goals for the quarter, amassing 13 behinds.
As the game progressed, Bill Smyth Oval shone with prosperity for the Lions. There was satisfaction with another big win from the under 16s earlier in the day along with a large crowd and a busy canteen and bar. The Lions continued to exert their midfield dominance and ended up devouring Eden by 55 points.
The final scores for the Seniors fixture was Narooma 17-20-122 def Eden 10-7-67. Other results for the round were:
Tathra 14-8-92 defeated Bega 12-9-81
Pambula 15-15-105 defeated Merimbula 10-8-68
Narooma Seniors are currently in fourth spot on the Association ladder behind Pambula, Bermagui and Merimbula.
The Lion’s wish to include a special mention for the Canteen and Bar team (Beth Mackie, Erin Ackerley, Gabe Collins (bar), Nanette Parker and Taylor Gall) in this week’s article. It was a very well organised and effective catering effort that brought in good results for the Club.
Round Four was Narooma’s launching pad into a season of renewed hope. At all levels the Club is starting to pick up and prosper. With better player numbers and performances, whole-of-club participation will continue to improve and the Lions will once again become the symbol of Narooma’s pride.
The Lions travel to Pambula this week before returning to Narooma in Round 5. Game times are U13s 9.30am, U16s 11am and Seniors 2.15pm.