Daw stars for Lions

Spiros Amarantidis (Jacob Pattison)360908_02

Tara Murray

Deer Park has hit what it is hoping is the turning point of its Essendon District Football League premier division season.

The Lions have struggled to get wins on the board in the early rounds, but put out one of their more impressive performances on Saturday against Avondale Heights.

There wasn’t much in the game at the three breaks, with the Lions leading by eight points at three quarter time.

In the final quarter it was all the Lions, kicking eight goals to two, to claim a 20.16 (136)-13.10 (88) win.

Lions coach Jamie Madigan was thrilled to finally get a second win on the board.

“We have been in most of the games,” he said. “Against Pascoe Vale we led at three quarter time and same with East Keilor and Greenvale.

“We’ve been in games but we’ve had lapses here and there and the opposition has kicked four or five goals.

“We should be better than 2-5, maybe 3-4 or even 4-3.”

On Saturday, Madigan said the difference in the final quarter was being able to clean up their ball use.

He said once they cleaned that up they were able to open their forward line up a bit more.

“In the third quarter we kept them in the game,” he said. “They were scoring off our turnovers.

“We started to use the footy well and keep the forward line open where we had a dominant key forward.”

That forward was Majak Daw, who was best on ground, kicking a massive 11 goals.

Madigan said it was a really strong performance.

“He didn’t have a pre-season and he’s had some health issues,” he said. “He got back yesterday and looked like a different player.

“He will get better in every game. He’s played three games now and half a practice match, it’s like he’s had a pre-season.

“He’s been fantastic on and off field.”

Madigan said the other standout was skipper Spiros Amarantidis, who kicked six goals of his own.

The coach said Amarantidis had really led from the front throughout the whole season even when they’ve been struggling.

The win move the Lions 2-5 with Madigan saying after the game they believed that it would be a turning point in their season.

“We have another home game this week against the Doutta Stars,” he said. “I’ll be a massive game for us and if we can get the win we can go into the break with two wins in a row.

“Douttas have some good players but we are the best clearance side in the competition and if we can get it in quick with have Majak and Spiros down there who can do some damage.”

In other matches, Keilor again showed why it is the red hot premiership favourite, beating East Keilor, 35.12 (222)-5.8 (38).