Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong coach Sam Martyn believes Collingullie-Glenfield Park have proven themselves as a genuine premiership contender this season.
Courtesy of some unbelievably straight kicking, the Demons took it right up to GGGM at Ganmain Sportsground, leading for chunks of the game before falling by 10 points in a ripping top of the table clash.
It signalled the coming of age for the new-look Collingullie-GP team, proving they are up to matching it with the best in the competition despite both teams having key personnel missing.
Martyn had nothing but praise for the Demons are trading blows over a fascinating four-quarter battle.
"First and foremost we give a lot of credit to Collingullie," Martyn said after the win.
"They are one of the premier teams in this competition now and I've got a lot of respect for the way they went about their footy today.
"They've evolved from last year from that tough contested side to a team who is obviously good in the clinches but who can hurt you on the outside too. Their tall timber were very accurate as well.
"Full credit probably goes to Collingullie. We've really got to bring our best football in order to be a challenger and they're probably as hungry as ever now to respond and will look forward to the challenge when we go there but vice versa, we do too and we'll see how our brand of footy goes out there."
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The Lions booted five consecutive goals in time on in the last quarter to clinch a memorable victory and maintain their unbeaten start and spot spot on the ladder.
Martyn said it now provides the Lions with a benchmark for the remainder of the season.
"When you're down in a game or have moments where you face adversity, you can draw on this sort of game and draw some inspiration from it," he said.
Kai Watts and George Alexander both kicked two each during that dramatic period late in the game.
Martyn singled them out for praise.
"George I thought was a really special effort," he said.
"He had to continually work with two or three opponents hanging off him all day. They did a really good job of defending him but to keep fighting through that and popping up and presenting and to finish with six is a pretty special effort.
"Kye again, he's such a hard match up for anyone and when you mention X-factor, he's a prime example. He had some really special moments and capitalised when it was his time to stand up."
Martyn expects both Jacob Olsson and Mitch Taylor to return for Saturday's home game against Leeton-Whitton. Both missed the clash due to illness.
Dan Foley will miss however after injuring his hamstring late in the contest.
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