WHOROULY’s young Lions won their first game of the season with a thrilling two-point triumph over Bright at Whorouly on Saturday.
Bright led at every change but a final surge pushed the Lions over the line to win 13.10 (88) to 12.14 (86).
“It was a really good win,” coach Scott McMasters said.
“Especially coming from behind the way we did, and against the old foe too — there’s always been good rivalry between us and Bright.”
In a departure from the more mature Whorouly teams of the past 10 years, McMasters said the Lions were building a team for the future.
“We’ve got a couple of real speedsters trying to use a more free-flowing type of game,” he said.
“Traditionally we’ve had a mature, experienced team so this is a total contrast to how we’ve been over the past decade or so.
“We’ve gone with a youth policy and are trying to build the footy club for the long term.”
With 10 minutes to go and the Mountain Men up by 24 points, McMasters put his trust in the young Lions’ run.
“We were good in patches but that’s the problem with a young side, we were very patchy,” he said.
“But we identified that we finished every quarter well, they got the jump on us in the final term but we just hung in there.
“We put young Damien Ravida in the middle in the final quarter — when we were down I thought, this is where you teach the young blokes.
“So we threw him in the middle and he had an amazing last quarter with three centre clearances and he contributed massively.”
John Pethybridge also sparked into life in the final term, booting three vital goals.
“We just told him to get his hands on the footy and his three goals were a massive win for us,” McMasters said.
“It was a good, even effort, I just think patience is going to be the key for us this year.”
McMasters said he believed when the Lions played well they could match the best teams.
And his expectation of the club is they will finish in the middle pack.
“We’re realistic and I know it’s a cliche but we are just taking it a week at a time,” he said.
“We’re just trying to progress and trying to get these kids to play better every week.”
Ace forward Richard Leahy kicked five goals for the Lions, while Ricky Weimer’s four were almost enough to bring the Mountain Men home.