A RUN of injuries put an abrupt halt to Mulwala’s finals campaign as it went down to Barooga 18-11 (119) to 12-6 (78).
It was a cruel end to a season in which the Lions have proven many of their critics wrong.
“We’re all pretty gutted,” co-coach Ben James said.
“But to our boys’ credit we ended up with no bench for probably two quarters but they just didn’t give up — we’re just proud of them.
“There were a couple of blokes out there who were injured and knew they couldn’t come off.
“But that’s footy and that’s just how it is.”
Patrick Fittock tore his hamstring in the second quarter, Ty Primmer injured his calf in the opening term, while Jacob Sampson and Sean Robinson suffered heavy knocks.
Yet with just two goals separating the sides at three quarter time, James said the Lions still had belief they could win.
“We definitely felt we were a chance,” he said.
“We were only two goals down, we had a bit of momentum, and we thought we might be able to run over them but it wasn’t the case.”
Despite the loss, the Lions have had a successful year when some had written off their finals chances before the season’s start.
“At the start of the year some people wrote us off,” James said.
“I think The Border Mail had us finishing third last.
“But getting this far was a real credit to the young fellas and the whole team — the club’s excited we’ve got a future to build on.
“I know we didn’t win the final but we’ve had a successful year to make it this far, the boys have stuck at it all year and Chris McNamara and I are really proud of them.
“Next season they’ll be one year older and there’s no reason why we can’t be up there again.
“They’re a good group.”