IT WAS an undermanned Great Western Lions who took on Glenthompson-Dunkeld in the Mininera District Football League on Saturday.
The Lions went into the game without the services of BJ Burton, Danny Grellet, Nathan Ringin and Tim Shalders who were all involved in the big win over Ararat the previous week.
Had those players been able to take the field the result may have been different.
Great Western had their backs against the wall early with Glenthompson young gun Christopher McLeod kicking the first three goals of the game within fifteen minutes of play.
Lions utility Tom McCord was moved to the sharp shooter and debutant Jayden McCartney marked and kicked his first senior goal from an acute angle.
Great Western rallied to pull the margin back to two goals at quarter time.
Again in the second term it was a tail of two halves with Glenthompson coming out and producing several shots on goal.
Lions, led by coach Nick Thomas, star on baller Lachie Malloy, ruckman Rayne Salmon and Sam Cocks responded with Salmon getting on top in the ruck and giving his on ball brigade first use.
Their clearance work allowed forwards Brett Dowie and Shannon Notting to influence the scoreboard to keep the margin within three goals at the main break.
At half time Thomas, buoyed by his team's endeavour and courage in the first half, instilled in his players the need to continue to win the contested football and play a more run and carry style through the centre of the ground.
While the second half was again hotly contested and physical the Lions were never able to gain the upper hand on their opponents and the deficit at the last change stayed around the three goal margin.
Glenthompson-Dunkeld were able to run away with the match in the final quarter, despite the best efforts of Malloy and Cocks as well as onballer Cody Virgona, who worked tirelessly throughout four quarters.
After the game Thomas remained positive with his embattled side praising their effort and willingness to work for each other.
Thomas pointed to the undermanned back six as well as the work rate of the onballers despite not being able to come away with the four points.
Thomas explained his pride in the group and set the level of effort as a benchmark for the remainder of the season.
The final score was Great Western 15.7.97 defeated by Glenthompson Dunkeld 20.17.137.