Hat-trick of wins for the NATO Lions

Carney Park, 25th November 2006 - The Lions made it three wins out of three at Carney Park on Saturday underlining their dominance at their home ground, which is quickly becoming an impenetrable fortress for visiting teams. As soon as Lions' captain Craig Farrington kicked off, it was apparent that this was going to be a fast-paced and highly contested match, even though the Lions were fronting a depleted team. Despite early pressure by the NATO Lions, Torre del Greco were soon camped on the home team's try line, the siege only lifting when the Lions' stole the ball on the opponents throw-in. A characteristically powerful break by vice-captain 'Big Dan' Kemp released hooker Sean 'Fish' Fisher on a surging run until he was brought down inches short of the try line. This ignited an intense drive by the home team to score the first points of the game. The Lions repeatedly battered Torre del Greco's defence until captain Craig Farrington jinked over to score. His try was calmly converted by Martin 'Taff' John, much to the delight of his entire family cheering from the sidelines. Torre del Greco immediately hit back, taking the ball deep into Lions' territory. Just as it appeared the NATO Lions defence might be breached, converted Running Back Barry Womack burst out of defence, his searing pace leaving Torre del Greco in his wake as he ran almost the length of the pitch to score under the posts leaving an easy second conversion for Taff John. Unfortunately that was the last play for Barry as he retired to the bench with a suspected hamstring injury – allowing Dave Fassel his first run out with the Lions. Bruised by the Lions' dominance, the visitors responded with renewed purpose forcing the Lions to put their bodies on the line in defence. Regrettably for the Lions, Patrick Kramer's heroic defence forced him to leave the field with a shoulder injury, bringing on Thomas Hope, also for his first match. This time, however, Torre del Greco's persistent pressure eventually paid off as they scored a converted try shortly before the half-time whistle. The second half saw no let-up for the NATO Lions as it became a war of attrition with Torre del Greco continuously testing the Lions' defence as they desperately tried to salvage the match and claim their first win on Lions' turf. No matter how many times the visitors threatened the line, they were aggressively denied by repeated bone-crunching tackles courtesy of Cederick Victor, Dave Thomas and Ryan Gibson, who were merciless and metronomic in their defence, shutting out the visitors until the final whistle. Despite the intensity, it was a clean and fairly fought contest with both sides sharing a mutual respect for the opposition and the spirit of the game. 14-7 final score against Torre del Greco