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Round 5 @ Hectorville

A return to one of Mitchell Parks favourite places saw The Lions face the Hectorville Hounds is what was always going to be an interesting encounter. Sadly it was interesting for a lot of the wrong reasons!

The B Grade continued to show an improved form line compared to previous years with a solid and determined effort that fell just short. The teams were evenly matched with much of the game see-sawing but Heccies always with their noses in front. Considering some of the senior players that were missing it was an admirable effort to eventually go down by 29 points. Brad Moroney showed why many pundits at the club rate him as one of the more promising young players the club has seen. In a role that was perhaps quite new to Possum he provided run, defensive pressure and excellent skills to marshall the back line superbly. Tim Clark, a new player to the club, had a great game across the ground exhibiting some excellent kicking. Mark Harrison donned the boots in a surprise late change and despite playing with obvious discomfort contributed strongly. Lee Darrington made a lot of noise in the forward line leaving Bun-heang Heng, Guy Forster and Tyson Vitale to kick 2 each.

The A grade played some of our best football since 2002. The movement and energy from the midfield was fantastic and with the McDonnell show in full force it was a sight to behold. Outsized and outmuscled the backline held together strongly despite a relatively poor start and restricted some very good footballers to a small score by ¾ time - Mitchell Park up by 4 goals with the game there for the taking....

Then it all went wrong. Hectorville to their credit never gave up and were always close enough to run over the top of us on their home patch – which is exactly what they did. I am personally not sure if it was mindset, fitness or ability that caused such a momentum swing. Perhaps it was a little bit of everything. In a loss described by one senior player as one of the worst he has experienced it was a very disappointing end to what could have been a grand day - with Heccies running out 21 point victors. Casey Varnas was superb on the wing in a best on ground performance. Silky possessions and quick decision making was definitely on show from Casey on Saturday but for mine his ability to make contest after contest when most other players would not have come close is what made his game special. Adam Dowsett was again desperate and creative in the midfield and would be close to our best player so far this year. Luke McDonnell showed some of his critics what he can do with some forward line marking and kicking the Adelaide Football club could probably do with, eventually finishing with 6 goals.

As Darren said, now is not the time to turn on each other or give up. If we can play the football we played for the first half for 4 quarters we can beat anyone. Thanks to Leigh Rowbottom for filling in at Centre Half back. Despite going down with cramp he showed why he is sorely missed at The Den.

See you on the track!