Bulls outlast gallant Tigers to reach preliminary final
Mt Barker have survived a thrilling final term to progress to the Great Southern Football League preliminary final, edging out Railways by 18 points at Centennial Stadium this afternoon.
After yesterday’s second semifinal failed to live up to expectations, the elimination first semifinal was a far better contest and it turned into an epic battle in the final term as the Tigers came from 23 points down to almost pinch victory.
The Bulls went in without Tyron Miller but regained forward Daniel Parker and jumped the Tigers early as they piled on four first quarter goals.
Despite two goals from the Tigers in the second term the Bulls began the last half with a 19 point buffer and twice they extended the margin to 29 points but a classy stoppage goal from Tigers star Zane Marwick, his second of a big third term, gave his side a sniff at the final break.
Trailing by 23 points the Tigers swung regular defender Tayler Neale forward for immediate reward as he booted his first four minutes into the last and then dished off to Zak Hortin who made it a 12 point game.
Neale snapped brilliantly soon after to edge the Tigers closer before Hortin’s third put his side a in front by a point, the first time they had led all day.
The Bulls though responded as veteran Ryan Ballard put them back in front and then a freak boundary snap from Parker and Nic Chidgzey’s third major of the afternoon got them across the line, 12.10 (82) to 10.4 (64).
Russell Wynne was highly influential for the Bulls while Nic Chidgzey and Kym Monteath combined for six goals and Sam Lehmann was terrific at half back.
The Tigers were without wingman Jarrod Whittle, who suffered a nasty broken ankle in the second term, and defender Jack Hastie for the majority of the match.
Zane Marwick was simply superb in the midfield, racking up 37 touches and two goals, while Jordyn Pietrala, Bodhi Stubber and Nic Cramer were also strong performers in the season-ending loss which was also Kris Cramer’s 150th league game.
The Bulls now face Royals in the preliminary final as they chase successive grand final appearances.
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