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SWFL 2023: Early lethal burst from Donnybrook sinks Lions at Brunswick Oval

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Lions defender Ben Ablett races after the football.
Camera IconLions defender Ben Ablett races after the football. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault league coach Ryan MacIntyre was not a happy man at quarter-time during Saturday’s 11.8 (74) to 5.4 (34) loss to Donnybrook at Brunswick Oval.

After his side was held scoreless, conceded two goals from late shoves and trailed by 45 points, MacIntyre read the riot act to his players in the huddle, explicitly urging more effort than what they had shown in the opening term.

The address appeared to galvanise the Lions, who proceeded to keep the Dons scoreless and trim the deficit to a manageable 20 points at the half.

This turnaround was punctuated by four goals in 15 minutes, with two majors to Jarrod Humphries resoundingly endorsed by the Lions supporters in the outer.

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Aside from taking the game on, the Lions used the ball better and their forwards were rewarded for playing in front.

Despite the impression of both sides throwing everything at each other in the second half, the third term became an arm wrestle, with routine stoppages the norm.

This suited the Dons, who turned for home with a 27-point lead in their pockets.

MacIntyre urged the Lions to “go for broke” in his three-quarter-time address, outlining the first goal of the term would be imperative if his side was to go on and come from behind.

Unfortunately for the Lions, they only managed two behinds in the final quarter, as the Dons sealed another impressive away victory.

It was not all doom and gloom for the Lions, with ruckman Jack Fletcher putting in a vintage performance. He barely lost a stoppage all day and worked extremely hard to win possessions at the coalface.

Resilient defender Ben Ablett, who was playing his penultimate home game as a Lion before relocating to Melbourne also battled hard, as did Zavier Williams.

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