Sunday 8 August 2010

Mt Gravatt cruised to their fifth consecutive victory with a crushing 127-point win over the Brisbane Lions Reserves in the final match of Round 16 at Dittmer Park today.

The Lions threw everything at the Vultures in the opening term, but broke wide open when Mt Gravatt kicked up a cog.

Vultures co-captain Josh Vearing was chaired off the ground by his teammates to cap an emphatic 26.14 (170) to 6.7 (43) triumph.

The win was built around a dominant defence, where Joel Smouha dropped back to take some imposing pack marks, Jake Furfaro was equally imposing in the air, and Adam and Tom Tarrant generated constant rebound with pack-busting efforts.

Smouha broke the Lions’ heart with a super second quarter in which he stopped everything that came his way.

The Lions had booted three of the first four goals of the match and still trailed by just seven points at the first change.

Centre-half-forward Bryce Retzlaff and midfielder-forward Claye Beams were electric in the opening half hour and booted two goals each to keep their side right in the contest.

While Smouha stood tall dropping across half-back, 17-year-old key defender Nathan Reid hit back superbly to completely nullify Retzlaff over the final three terms.

So good was the defence that the Lions managed just two behinds in the second term and went a total of 45 minutes without a major score until Broc McCauley took an outstanding mark and goalled nine minutes into the third term.

In between the Vultures booted eight second quarters and nine in total unanswered until McCauley’s reply.

The Lions went into the game without experienced senior AFL player Justin Sherman and Travis Johnstone from their named line-up, leaving them with 13 listed and 10 top-up players.

They also desperately missed Aaron Cornelius, who has starred at QAFL level and was rightly given another chance in the seniors last night.

Adam Tarrant dominated in the absence of Cornelius, while the young bodies of the Lions tired as the game wore on under a warm 23 degree sun.

In fact, the Vultures booted 13.6 to 2.2 after halftime in a cakewalk, where they did as they pleased.

Tarrant even went forward to the attacking goalsquare and booted a majestic goal from 45m out near the boundary in time-on of the final term.

Billy Cleary was lively in the forward line with four goals, Tobi Spencer continued his resurrection with three goals and starred in a forward pocket in the third term in particular, and Michael Schultz was again an understated but highly effective performer at centre-half-forward.

Mt Gravatt received enormous energy from John James, whose tackling and third and fourth efforts were amazing on occasions.

Ash Evans, Dean Page and Mick Hamill were big possession winners through the midfield, and David Hill did another very good job in the ruck opposed to McCauley.

The Lions simply did not have the manpower or muscle to match the on-song Vultures.

Troy Selwood battled valiantly in a number of positions, Tom Collier was desperate in defence all day, and Beams kept on winning possession, but they had precious little support.

Top-up players Jesse Wallin and Jack James impressed the Lions coaching staff, while Tim Higgins showed plenty of courage and did some classy things.

It was a complete reversal of Round 1 of the season, when the Lions rode roughshod over the Vultures by 92 points at the Gabba.

The Vultures had a spread of 14 different goalkickers, including two to Vearing, who capped his milestone game with a big roost from 50m courtesy of a handball from Schultz late in the last quarter.

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