MDFL - The injury ravaged Rhodes Plumbing Great Western Lions limped to the end of the Mininera and District Football Association season with a big loss to Lismore/Derrinallum on Saturday.
With several key players missing through injury and others through unavailability, it was a tough finish to the season for the Lions outfit.
It was evident from the outset the Lions were going to struggle even on their home turf.
Lismore/Derrinallum took control with a number of easy clearances from the centre which were finished off by the Demons big forwards, who were able to brush aside the undersized Lions defenders.
The Demons had the scoreboard ticking and an 8.6 opening quarter to one solitary goal had the Lions struggling and at the first break, Great Western coach, Nick Thomas pleaded with his players to take up the challenge.
This saw the like of Lachie Green, Lachie Malloy, BJ Burton and Ben O'Neill respond through the middle of the ground winning a lot of contested ball, which did cut the Demons scoring opportunities in the second term.
While the Lions lifted their effort, it was still a sad tale on the scoreboard as they trailed by 56 points.
As the rain hit in the third term any hopes of a Lions comeback were gone and Lismore/Derrinallum's big bodied players through the midfield regained momentum and control of the match.
Despite struggling on the scoreboard the Lions didn't lack endeavour even after they were forced to play with no bench for most of the second half.
Glen Walker (hamstring), Tim Hollis (shoulder) and Ben Iseppi (calf) were out of the game.
Big efforts came from Ben Newson, who rucked tireless unchanged for the duration of the match, Adam Bullock in defence, captain Brett Dowie and several other players.
After the game Nick Thomas, while disappointed to lose, thanked his players for their efforts on the day.
He also thanked them for their efforts throughout the season, a season that has show a lot of promise for the Lions, giving them plenty to work with in the off season.
The lack of players did see club veteran Dale Hurley come out of retirement for the first time in more than two years and playing up forward in the second half he managed to pick up a few handy possessions.