AN under-strength Gold Coast SUNS have fallen to a Brisbane Lions side hungry for a win in the NAB Challenge.
The local boys fell 47-points short (106 to 59) as they battled temperatures of 27 degrees and 74 per cent humidity, in Townsville yesterday afternoon.
The SUNS’ website reports, an equal career high four-goal performance from Harley Bennell was not enough to lift the SUNS to victory at Tony Ireland Stadium.
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The 21-year-old speedster was impressive in his first competitive match for 2014, providing a much-needed spark to an undermanned side missing the likes of Michael Rischitelli, David Swallow, Jaeger O’Meara and Captain Gary Ablett.
SUNS senior coach Guy McKenna, who filled a football operations role as defensive strategist Dean Solomon gained senior coaching experience in the hot seat, told the FOX FOOTY commentary team Bennell had benefited from a superb summer of pre-season training.
“He has really developed a two-way running capacity, which he has brought into his game and is getting the reward for effort,” McKenna said.
The win for the Lions comes a week after they were thumped by 131-points by Hawthorn.
The SUNS will now turn their attention to their final practice match against Collingwood at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.