The Belmont resurgence continues to flourish as it toppled yet another finals fancy in Winchelsea.
The Lions have now won its past five matches and while it may not see finals action it is certainly having an impact on who does. Coach David McKiernan was thoroughly impressed with his groups “nothing to lose” attitude, holding on to secure a five-point victory over the fifth-placed Blues.
“They (Winchelsea) are a side that had something on the line ... to beat those sorts of sides, it’s good to have any win, but to beat a side that’s got something on the line just makes it that little more special.” McKiernan said.
“They enjoyed it, as I said to them, that’s the feeling you want to replicate. So when you have these wins – enjoy them.”
”For the guys, for the confidence and for the club more than anything it was a great win.”
A sense of new-found belief was not only evident from the playing group but also the Lions supporters as it watched the entertaining clash. While Belmont can’t make finals this year, its current form promises success is brewing for 2015 with the Lions eagerly awaiting next year already.
“They’re really looking forward, and even though the seasons only got three weeks left, they’re looking forward to next year already.”
“They’re doing it together, they see that they’ve got the potential.”
The Lions are now beginning to gain the right mixture of experience and youth in its senior outfit with McKiernan urging the importance of a positive approach when mentoring his young charges.
“We want to stay on the positives; we’re really focusing not so much on what we’re doing wrong but what we’re doing well.”
“You can learn so many lessons from what you’ve done well ... especially being young guys, (if) you be negative it almost drops their mindset, so with a young group you’ve got to tell them what they’re doing well, and do it again – sometimes it can be as simple as that.”
Alex Hann was enormous through the midfield as well as kicking two clutch goals in the final term, ruckman Brodie Edge continued his fantastic season with a tireless performance while Lions captain Josh Blair was influential as was the pace of youngster Heath Wlash.
The Lions jumped the Blues early, with two goals in quick succession however the visitors responded likewise. Jamie Duggan then slotted his second of the quarter to hand his side an 11-point quarter-time lead.
The second term would prove the catalyst in the victory as a breathtaking ten minutes of football to begin the quarter saw the Lions pile on four unanswered goals. Winchelsea hit back once again, but squandered its opportunities kicking seven behinds, to enter the main break trailing 8.4.52 - 2.12.24.
It was an arm wrestle after half-time with just four goals for the term, three of which went the way of the Blues and the visitors looked to be clawing its way back.
The first two goals of the final quarter saw Winchelsea close to within one point, but that would be as close as it got. With the Lions leaders standing tall despite multiple challengers from the Blues, to deliver another memorable victory.