Lions Win MPL Vawdon Cup Title

The Hornsby Lions have beaten a fast finishing Penrith Panthers side to win the 2010 Men’s Premier League Vawdon Cup final.

The Lions, who finished fifth in the regular season, won back the title they last won in 2008, taking the game 7-6.

Hornsby was the first team to score, with Nathan Wong diving over the line in the first minute to give his side a 1-0 lead.

Penrith hit back in the next minute, with Matt Moylan sliding over the line to level the scores at 1-all. Hornsby’s Tom Hillard gave his side the lead in the sixth minute, when the Lions capitalised on an overlap, with Hillard scoring in the corner.

The Panthers levelled the score four minutes later, when Matt Moylan set up captain Nick Good’s touchdown to bring the game to two touchdowns all.

Hornsby hit back in the 11th minute, with Joseph Tarau scoring, and they took their lead out to two touchdowns when Hillard scored his second to give his side a 4-2 advantage.

The teams traded touchdowns in the final minutes of the first half, with the Panthers Dean McKechine scoring in the 19th minute, while the Lions hit back in the final minute of the half through Michael Abood to take a two touchdown lead into half time, 5-3.

The Lions were in again in just the second minute of the second half, when some good footwork from captain Dylan Hennessey gave them a three touchdown advantage.

Two touchdowns in the space of three minutes put Penrith back into the game, with Nick Good and Daniel Springfield scoring, to hit back to within one touchdown.

Potatau Berryman scored for the Lions in the 14th minute to take his side’s lead to two touchdowns, before the Panthers’ Dean Springfield’s touchdown in the next set brought the game to seven touchdowns to six.

 The Panthers tried hard to level the score in the dying minutes, with plenty of possession close to the line, but strong Hornsby defence kept them out, with the Lions taking the title with the one touchdown win.

Hennessey, who was named Player of the Final, was proud of his team’s achievements, but admits they were lucky to take the title over a strong Penrith side. He says that the title win was due to the side playing as a team.

“It’s our second win now, we are missing two of our boys so we just came up and lifted for them, we were lucky to get away with it.”

“With our team we don’t know if we are going to play on the day or not or if the boys are going to turn up but today we turned up and decided to play so we were lucky with that,” he said.

The win is a good lead up for the Hornsby side who are looking to put back-to-back titles together at this year’s New South Wales State Cup after winning the title over the Panthers in 2009.

“It would be sensational (to win), we are not even thinking about that at the moment, we’ve just got to get to the semis and the finals and hopefully we can get there,” Hennessey said.


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