K rock Football

Pup the Pride of the Lions

Marcus Thompson starred in Leopold’s 88-point Pride Cup win over Newtown & Chilwell. (krockkfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

AN impressive performance from Leopold young gun Marcus Thompson has spearheaded Leopold to an 88-point hiding of Newtown & Chilwell in the Pride Cup clash at Leopold Community Bank Oval.

Thompson claimed the best-on-ground medal as the Lions improved to 7-1 ahead of a challenging three weeks before the mid-season bye which sees meetings with the much-improved South Barwon, unbeaten St Joseph’s and the inconsistent Bell Park.

“We thought they were probably going to challenge a little bit more than what they did today,” Leopold coach Guy Morphet said.

“But in fairness to them, in the second quarter, they really lifted their intensity and their pressure, which showed.

“But I was really rapt with our performance. I think we certainly built on our game style and it was probably a bit more well-rounded.

“Our second quarter, we probably let ourselves down a little bit, but our third and fourth quarters were elite … blokes like Marcus Thompson, how good’s he?”

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Leopold has now won three consecutive games since losing to St Mary’s before the interleague break by a combined 395 points, seeing its percentage jump from 136.84 per cent to a league-best 235.26.

While the Lions have been outstanding defensively, their new-look forward line with the inclusion of former Geelong and Carlton utility Billie Smedts is also starting to jell.

Smedts kicked three goals, while Thompson, Brandon Howarth, Mitch Patten and Lucas Boyd kicked two apiece.

Morphet believes the return of big man Boyd from injury in the last three weeks has been crucial.

“He straightens us up … against St Mary’s that was one area we were deficient going forward,” Morphet said.

“He’s just a big, imposing body and he’s got really good running patterns, so when we go forward he’s a really key focus point.”

In more good news for the Lions, veteran Jye Walker made a solid return from a hamstring injury in the reserves, while key defender Jayden McHenry should be right to take on South Barwon after missing the hammering of the Eagles following a head knock.

However, speedster Nick Bourke suffered a rolled ankle late in the game.

“I don’t know how bad it is yet. It looked like it blew up pretty quickly,” Morphet.

“It looks like he’ll have to go and get scans on it.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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