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Lions roar to a 92-point win over Aspley

Bryce Heaton  May 27, 2017 9:24 PM

Web NEAFL REPORT V ASPLEY.jpg

Six goals to Ryan Harwood have helped the Lions roar back into form against a lacklustre Aspley Hornets at Graham Road on Saturday afternoon, never looking back after getting off to a flyer in the barnstorming 92-point win.

The Lions had contributors all over the park in Sam Skinner’s long-awaited comeback against an Aspley side, who were coming back off of a bye last weekend, leading by 55 at half time on the way to a resounding 23.14 (152) to 9.6 (60) win.

Five of Harwood’s six goals came before half time, including a stunning effort near the right forward pocket boundary across the body for his fourth.

It was a performance few would have seen coming considering the Tasmanian has played most of his footy for the Lions across the halfback line.

“What (Harwood) was able to do today was really impressive, in the contest he was able to keep his feet and win one-on-ones and finish off with a goal so he played an important role for the team,” said coach Mitch Hahn.

Oscar McInerney was set a huge task rucking against Will Wolbers and Nate Dennis in the absence of Archie Smith (seniors) but handled the job with sheer brilliance, destroying the Hornets’ pairing with 46 hit outs while they had just 40 between them.

A few of his hit outs resembled volleyball spikes, giving the Lions midfield first use on almost every occasion, while his skills below the knees for a man of 203cm continue to amaze.

He also chipped in up forward with four goals, just for good measure.

Brisbane’s coaching staff will be pleased the four Lions omitted from the senior side this week won the most footy, namely Rohan Bewick (36 disposals), Tom Bell (31), Michael Close (26) and Harwood (21).

Matt Eagles was given the captaincy for the day and led by example from the start, unshackled from the backline to head into the forward half and take a number of big contested marks, kicking two goals and assisting McInerney in the ruck with 11 hit outs.

Skinner returned to the field for the start of the second quarter in his first outing since July last year, and the 19-year-old received a hearty cheer as he gathered his first touch.

“It was just funny getting the ball the first time, I sort of didn’t know what to do with it,” Skinner said.

“At the start I felt like I was pretty scrambled and towards the end of the game I sort of felt a little bit more relaxed. I’m looking to build on that in the next couple of weeks, just getting that composure back when I do have the ball in my hands.

“(Coach) Hahn pretty much said same as last time… go out there and enjoy it, not putting anything on me to make me think about it too much.”

Skinner finished with 15 disposals and seven marks, and even tested the knee out with a successful blind turn to beat his opponent in the third quarter.

“It was fantastic to be able to see Sammy out there again today, he’s come off the back of a really long rehabilitation and put in a lot of hard work,” said coach Hahn.

“I think the boys were just rapt with the way he was able to come out and use his voice and get a touch and just enjoy the game. We had no expectations for Sam coming into the game, we said ‘mate just go out there and have fun’ and I think he was able to do that.

“It was fantastic for him to get the victory and sing the song with his mates.

“We knew that coming into today Aspley had been in good form, what they were able to do against (UWS) the week before was something special.

“Liam Dawson did a fantastic job on (Ben) Warren, Reuben William was fantastic down back, that’s the best game he’s played for us.

“I could name 22 players. When you win like that everyone plays well.”

Bewick’s 36 disposals included a whopping 13 inside 50s and 10 clearances, while Jono Freeman missed out on a bag, kicking 2.4.

Josh Walker continued his role as the interceptor in defence, taking a game high 12 marks.

Ed Barlow flew the flag for the Hornets with 30 disposals, whilst Matt Payne was quiet by his usual lofty standards with 21 disposals.

Edward Mallan managed 3 goals, 2 of which came from 50 metre penalties.

The Lions now have a week off before taking on the Suns at Brendale, while the Hornets will have to regroup quickly for their clash with the Demons at UNSW Canberra Oval on Saturday.

ASPLEY 3.1 4.3 8.3 9.6 (60)
BRISBANE LIONS
7.2 13.4 18.8 23.14 (152)

GOALS – Brisbane: R Harwood 6, O McInerney 4, J Allison 2, M Eagles 2, J Freeman 2, R Gordon 2, R Bewick, B Grewar, C Lyons, C Walker, J Walker. Aspley: E Mallan 3, J Hayden, E Barlow, R Holman, C French, G Grose, R Toye.

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