STALEMATE HURTS LIONS, PANTHERS
The first draw of the NEAFL season did no favours to either the Brisbane Lions Reserves or Morningside.
Sunday 7 August 2011
A goal in the last 30 seconds secured Morningside a draw against the Brisbane Reserves at Sherwood yesterday, consigning the Lions to the northern conference wooden spoon.
It was the Lions’ eighth close finish of the season and again they were left to lament what might have been.
Having led by 20 points at halftime, they conceded six goals to two in the third term to trail by six points at the last change, before holding the lead for most of the final term.
They kicked more goals than the Panthers but the 13.12 (88) to 12.16 (88) tie, coupled with Labrador’s win over Aspley, meant they are now six points behind the Tigers on the premiership table with two rounds to play.
“We played well but to Morningside’s credit so did they,” said Lions coach Nathan Clarke. “It was another high standard game where we have got close at the finish but not at the right end.”
The Lions began brightly, with Ryan Harwood setting the standard in the midfield and maintaining it all day.
He collected 36 possessions and gave the Lions great drive alongside young Western Magpie Alex Kitching, who continued his fine output at NEAFL level and capped his game with three goals.
Another top-up player, Cam Bernasconi, certainly pleased the coach.
Loaned by Mt Gravatt due to the Magpies having their ranks thinned, he ‘did a terrific job’, according to Clarke.
Richard Newell was also strong around the football, while Tom Collier gave great dash from defence.
Josh Drummond was also solid. “He looks pretty close to a senior return,” Clarke said. “Most of our guys actually played okay – it was a pretty good effort collectively.”
More good news for the Lions was a solid display by Callum Bartlett and a strong performance by Mitch Golby.
Morningside battled to keep in touch in the first half, with midfielder Ryan Holman doing a quality job in the midfield.
A badly corked thigh meant he was sent to a deep forward role in the second half but his teammates picked up the slack, with co-captain Paul Shelton leading the rearguard action.
Full-forward Shaun Mugavin conjured three quick goals in the third term to capitalise fully on the momentum swing.
But the Panthers were unable to maintain the rage in the last term, although they showed plenty of heart to persist to the final siren.
After they levelled the scores, the Lions took the ball into their attacking arc but the siren sounded as a big pack of players were around a ball-up.
Shelton, young half-back Tom Bell and Adam Spackman were outstanding for the visitors, while Jarrod Price was strong at full-back and teenager Peter Yagmoor played his best game of the season.
"You always want to come out with a win but at least most of the other results went our way," Holman said.
The draw leaves the Panthers half a game out of the top five and facing a virtual elimination final against Redland at home on Sunday.