After dominating the first half of its A-grade semi final on Sunday, Sunbury only just held on to progress to the Ballarat Football Netball League preliminary final.
The Lions pulled off a three-goal victory over Lake Wendouree after an emphatic first two quarters of the clash at City Oval, ending the game with a score of 46-43.
But the Lakers were impressive in their fight to level the scores in a thrilling final term, before losing momentum with a player forced off the court with a blood nose.
Sunbury coach Adam Boldiston said while it was exciting to still be in finals for another week, there was a lot of work ahead of the team.
He said complacency had almost cost his side after losing their intensity in the attack end in the second half.
“In the first half our ball speed was fantastic, that was the key and we were executing that brilliantly,” he said.
“I told them at half-time we had to keep on going with that. But we let ourselves down, we went away from everything and really had to dig deep there.
“Credit to Lakers, they are a really good young side so they’re going to be good in the years to come, I like their style of play.”
A positive for Sunbury had been the return of Tarnee Adams, while Renee Hulls and Ruth Smith produced a high work rate early on and Tarryn Munro and Kate Fletcher combined well.
Getting away with the win, the performance was a timely wake up call for the Lions.
“This league is tough,” Boldiston said. “All top four teams are capable of winning on any day. You have to earn it and we have to next week.”