THE Lions may have lost their opening women’s match of the season to the Richmond Tigers, but they showed plenty to say they’ll be around come finals time.
Playing before a crowd of more than 3000 the women went down in a nail-biter 6.4 (40) to 5.4 (34) and almost locked it up in the dying seconds.
Coach Craig Starcevich has spent the last few months moulding a new-look squad with seven players missing from last year’s team.
He said it was disappointing to narrowly lose the opening match, but there was plenty of room for improvement.
“We were a little bit fumbly and not as clean as we usually are and I was disappointed with our effort in the second quarter where we conceded four majors,” he said.
“It will take a little while to get the combinations right, but today was a step towards that.”
In perfect conditions and in front of a passionate home crowd the Lions jumped the Tigers in the opening quarter running with the strong breeze to claim the first three majors.
In the second quarter the Tigers benefited from the wind and went to the break with the lead after putting four through the main sticks.
With the wind dying off in the last half it came down to desperate defence from both sides and it was only a late penalty against the Lions that allowed the Tigers to take the lead in the final three minutes.
As the siren sounded the Lions were scrambling for the ball in front of the Tigers’ posts.
At just 24 years of age Dakota Davidson showed she is ready to take on a bigger leadership role for the Lions with former experienced forward partners Jesse Wardlaw and Greta Bodey both leaving the side.
She kicked two majors and showed plenty of energy and enthusiasm around the park.
The Lions are attempting to make their new ground at Springfield a fortress, but unfortunately they have lost their only two home games at the venue.
The team is now off to meet Port Adelaide before returning on Sunday, September 17 to play the Sydney Swans under lights.