Bulls sweat on forward pair, Tigers eager to bounce back in prelim

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Mt Barker’s David Stone wins the ruck against Railways’ Kenton Gibbs in the two sides most recent encounter.
Camera IconMt Barker’s David Stone wins the ruck against Railways’ Kenton Gibbs in the two sides most recent encounter. Credit: Richard Poulish

Mt Barker are desperate to avoid losing a key component of their forward line in Kym Monteath as doubts surround his fitness ahead of Sunday’s Great Southern Football League preliminary final against Railways at Tigerland.

Monteath was lively in the Bulls’ elimination final win in wet conditions last Sunday but finished the game on the bench with an injured groin. Part of the Bulls’ travelling contingent, Monteath had a light run in Perth on Tuesday alongside John Lee, who is likely to put his hand up for selection this week.

Lee is recovering from a dislocated ankle, but Bulls coach Brad Hook said there was no certainly on either of the duo.

“Johnny Lee and Monty had a light training run and will train again on Friday,” Hook said. “They are both 50-50 at this stage.“

The Bulls will be out to win their first game over the Tigers this season and reverse their most recent encounter, with the Tigers coasting to a 63-point win.

Buoyed by eliminating the premiers of the last five years, the Bulls believe they can continue their finals run come Sunday afternoon.

“We haven’t beaten them this year and the last two games they have given us a touch-up,” Hook said.

“We have struggled to get our best team out on the park until now and we go in with a bit of confidence.

“They finished second for a reason and the midfield battle is key, no doubt.”

Tigers coach Troy Leo forecast some changes to his 22 after their second semifinal loss to Royals, with Liam Park the name most likely to return.

The Tigers played on their limit of 28 points last Saturday and if Park, a two-point player, returns they will have to drop a player worth more than the minimum one point.

“Hopefully Park comes back, Ryan Harper is no good so he won’t come back this week,” Leo said.

“We’ll probably make a couple of changes but I’ve still got plenty of confidence in the players. Mt Barker played real good footy last week; they’ve been improving all year and we have to be ready for them and up for the challenge.”

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