Bulls fire in Lehmann’s milestone match

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Mt Barker's Daniel Henderson gets around Royals' Cam Smith.
Camera IconMt Barker's Daniel Henderson gets around Royals' Cam Smith. Credit: Laurie Benson

Mt Barker have celebrated veteran Sam Lehmann’s 200th game with a convincing victory over Royals at Sounness Park on Saturday afternoon, as they kicked off life under new coach Brad Hook with a strong statement.

In the season-opening Great Southern Football League fixture the Bulls had a total of 33 points under the new player points allocation with forwards Daniel Parker, Kym Monteath and recruit Dionne Woods their highest individual players with three points each.

However, it was the performance of some of the base one-point players that stood out in the Bulls’ 60-point demolition of the undermanned Lions.

Little known forward Dean Ryan bobbed up to kick five goals in the win while talented youngster Joel Gray was superb around the ground and added a couple of classy finishes in front of goal as well.

Mt Barker's latest 200 game player Sam Lehmann runs through his banner.
Camera IconMt Barker's latest 200 game player Sam Lehmann runs through his banner. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Star midfielder Nic Chidgzey was superb, especially in the second term when he went behind the play to cut off numerous Lions attacks as they went with the aid of the breeze.

New ruckman Daniel Henderson was impressive in his Bulls debut and rugged defender Adam Tissott was also influential as the Bulls kicked the last seven goals of the match to run out winners, 12.11 (83) to 3.5 (23).

A Bulls stalwart, Lehmann unselfishly played across half-back for the betterment of his side and was his reliable self as the home side restricted the Lions to three goals for the match.

Hook said it was important to win for such a decorated servant of their club. “If ever there was a game that we just had to get up for that was it,” he said.

“It was a bit of an unknown going into the game and the result was better than expected.

“The second quarter was where we won the game, keeping them to one goal and our defence were outstanding, keeping them to 23 points.”

Royals' Andrew Ruck and Mt Barker’s Adam Tissott contest.
Camera IconRoyals' Andrew Ruck and Mt Barker’s Adam Tissott contest. Credit: Albany Advertiser

The Lions were without a stack of first-choice players, including key midfielders Dave Parker and Henry Hodge along with Sam Baddeley-Holmes, Taylor Powell, Michael McGlade and Corey Ward among others.

Cent Amores played his best senior game for the Lions, getting plenty of the ball around the stoppages, and fellow youngster Braden Murphy was terrific across half-back.

Ryan Kinnear worked hard throughout and Cam Smith, who kicked a long-range set shot, was also a solid contributor.

Royals' Rhys Jones.
Camera IconRoyals' Rhys Jones. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Lions coach James McRae said his side were out-muscled by the home side after the main break.

“We were good for a half with a lot of young kids and debutants,” he said.

“They had more experienced footballers, we got out-bodied and outsmarted but we’ve got a lot of senior blokes to go into that side.

“We didn’t use the ball going forward and our inability to score were the issues.”

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