THE Tathra Sea Eagles travelled to Narooma for what most would have predicted another whitewash however, facing a near full-strength Lions outfit they were shocked into the reality of Narooma’s true capability.
Reigning premiers, Tathra won the toss and chose to kick with the north easterly “Roaring Lion” that is ever present in the afternoons at Bill Smyth Oval. It was to be a test for Narooma but seemed to give Narooma an excuse to play naturally, with the freedom of having nothing to lose.
After conceding the first goal, the Lions returned fire quickly and took a two goal lead before Tathra evened the scoring by the first quarter break. Matching Tathra on the scoreboard for the quarter against the wind was a minor victory for the Lions.
It could be said that the Lions rested on the first quarter laurels during the second, failing to take advantage of the wind. As they went into the half time break, 14 points down you had to wonder if Narooma’s poor training attendance record for the season would be a factor against the fitter Seahawks.
After the third quarter which saw crucial midfielder, Rowan Hawkey injured, the Lions looked down and out, heading into three quarter time 22 points down.
The fourth quarter was symbolic of the Lions bi-polar season as they hit back to take the lead, showing their true talent and spirit that can be mustered at a stretch, only to see it broken through tiredness and lack of discipline. Another telling factor was the Lions goal kicking accuracy, once again reaching the 20 mark for behinds.
Despite the final quarter fadeout the Lions players were positive about the game and remain focussed on their team’s future potential rather than its historic results.
Perhaps the biggest positive from Saturday was the continuing restoration of community spirit at Bill Smyth Oval. Hearing the relatively large crowd cheer as the Lions hit the lead in the final quarter was a great indication that Australian Rules Football in Narooma is on its way to flourishing again.
Home games in Narooma are a great day out and bring out community spirit and pride. You can be part of the excitement when the Lions return to Bill Smyth Oval on Saturday, May 24 at 2.15pm (junior grades at 11am).
The weekend’s results in the Sapphire Coast Senior competition were Bermagui 19-7-121 defeated Bega 6-8-44, Narooma 14-20-104 defeated by Tathra 23-11-149, Eden 2-10-22 defeated by Pambula 23-21-159 and Merimbula had a bye. The Lions remain at fifth place on the Association ladder.