K rock Football

Finals a lock for Lions

LEOPOLD will play finals in its first season under Garry Hocking after overcoming a determined Grovedale at Burdoo Reserve by 13 points.

The Lions honoured club great Jai Thompson’s 200th open age appearance in the best possible way, coming from 16 points down at the final change to win 11.12 (78) to 10.5 (65).

“The most important thing yesterday was a win, but also aligning that with Jai Thompson’s 200th game,” Hocking said.

“He’s a legend of the footy club … it was great to be able to tick that box for Jai to win his 200-game milestone.”

Grovedale had first use of the breeze to the pavilion end in the first quarter, but Leopold was able to stay within touch, trailing by just nine points at the opening change.

“It was 4.3 to 3.0, so we were able to kick accurately in the first quarter – we just didn’t get enough opportunities,” Hocking said.

“They defended well, moved the ball well, and got a really good start.”

Leopold was able to make full use of the wind in the final term, kicking 4.5 while keeping the Tigers scoreless.

“There’s no doubt I would have liked to have jumped out of the blocks because that’s been a bit of a concern for us for most of the year,” Hocking said.

“But, the boys do come really well, and that’s a credit to Cam Banks who does our fitness stuff.”

The Lions will now use meetings with South Barwon and North Shore to prepare for a likely elimination final meeting with St Joseph’s on August 28.

“I think all the coaches sitting from fifth through to St Mary’s would be saying that these next 2-3 weeks are about momentum and getting all your players in the positions they need to be playing,” Hocking said.

“We’ve tried to settle the team over the last 6-8 weeks.

“We’re still tinkering with a couple of little positional things where we feel like that we can get more out of certain players.”

Mitch Patten reached 50 goals for the second time in his career and maintained his nine-goal buffer on Lara’s Mitch Day in the battle for the goalkicking award after contributing three goals for Leopold.

The Thompson brothers and Oli Tate were keys to the Lions’ win.

Flynn Young’s fine debut season continued as he kicked three goals to take his season tally to 28.

Midfielder Cassidy Parish and co-captain Brady Campi did all they could to keep the Tigers’ season alive.

GFL: SCOREBOARD – ROUND 16 (PART 1)

In other Round 16 matches, Newtown & Chilwell secured the double-chance following a 58-point win over North Shore at Windsor Park.

The Eagles, who were forced to shift their home game due to the state of Elderslie Reserve, were never threatened by the Seagulls in posting a 20.11 (131) to 11.7 (73) victory.

Gennaro Bove and Geelong VFL listed Tom Panuccio kicked three goals, with Lachie Bond and captain Matt McMahon standouts.

Joel Edwards’ form in front of goal continued for North Shore.

He kicked four goals and was among the Seagulls’ best, along with winger Brad Gerrad, co-coach Nick Dixon and veteran Jason Davenport.

Geelong West has eight wins in a season for the first time since last playing finals in 2008 after outlasting Bell Park by 26 points at West Oval.

The 14.8 (92) to 9.12 (66) victory gave the Giants consecutive wins over the Dragons for the first time since 2000.

After seven goals last week against Lara, Phillip Moi Moi kicked three for West, as did Tylar Watts.

Will Christie managed three goals for the Dragons.

Lara claimed its second victory of the season in beating the winless St Albans by 51 points at The Gordon TAFE Oval.

The Cats made the most the breeze in the first quarter to jump to a 22-point lead, and from there were never in danger as they won 13.9 (87) to 4.12 (36).

Spearhead Mitch Day, who moved his season tally to 41 goals with three majors, ruck Jack Borchard and Billy Goodwin, in his 100th open-age appearance for the club, all impressed.

Jacob Russell kicked two classy goals for the Supersaints, who were best served by midfielders Sam Donegan and Bailey Brogden.

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