The Lions' 2018 premiership flag flew high as they battled against Merimbula Diggers in their first home game of the season.
The Merimbula Diggers were handed their first loss of the year by the reinvigorated Narooma Lions outfit on Saturday.
In blustery conditions at Narooma's Bill Smyth Memorial Oval, the Lions narrowly pegged back the Diggers to win 8-9-57 to 7-7-49 where both team's defensive efforts were highlighted.
Lions late recruits, Harrison Bromwich and Thomas Hodge, were an impressive under-16 pair who stepped up to the seniors' plate.
"They backed up after their match against Bega and did extremely well," Lions coach Jason Sauiluma said.
"Both were stand-out players on the field."
With 13 new players in the mix, Narooma pulled together a strong side to match the undefeated Diggers.
"I am impressed with how well the team has gelled considering all of the new players," Sauiluma said.
"It was our strongest side for the year so far, with a few players yet to come back in."
Diggers' strong forward contender Jedd Martyn kicked two goals as did Dan Edwards, while Luke Talty bagged three for the home side.
It's a cliche, but it really was anyone's game until the final quarter.
Narooma had led by two at the first break, but the Diggers had taken a two-point lead at half-time.
It was an arm-wrestle of a game, the intensity was high but none of our players backed down.Jason Sauiluma
It was three points in favour of the Merimbula side at three-quarter time, but the Lions found three goals to one in the last period to clinch the win.
"It was an arm-wrestle of a game, the intensity was high but none of our players backed down," Sauiluma said.
Sauiluma said the Lions' willingness to keep fighting is a strength that will be carried throughout the season.
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The loss is the sole mark on the score sheet for the Diggers after five rounds, who are still sitting proud atop the leaderboard with 16 competition points to Narooma's eight.
Lions head to Pambula this Saturday, and will be hunting for more than their two-point second round win against Panthers.
In the women's fixture, Narooma ran all over the Bega Bombers and bagged a big win 13-15-93 to 1-1-7.
Narooma's Meagan Mackie was quick on the boot scoring five goals for the side. Other stand-out performances were Zalie Betts, Talia Moreton-Stewart, Zhoe Hart and Lions debut Mikayla Jackson.