Railways began their premiership defence on a winning note as they claimed Monday’s Anzac Day clash over North Albany by 33 points at Collingwood Park. The Tigers were missing a number of regular stars, including last year’s Alan Barnett medallist Matt Palfrey, but they wore down the home side over four quarters played in ideal conditions to complete the opening round of the new Great Southern Football League season. Midfielder Kane Shephard had a day out and was deservedly named best-on-ground after winning a host of possessions and booting four goals in the 11.15 (81) to 7.6 (48) triumph. The Kangas kicked the opening goal of the special fixture through talented teenager Lucas Ravenhill but the Tigers took a slender lead into the opening break after two majors from Logan Stubber. The Tigers never coughed up the lead from that point on, however their inaccurate kicking left the home side in the game for long periods. Shephard kicked two of his four majors in the second term as the visitors extended their buffer to 26 points at the long break. Ravenhill was only growing in confidence as the game wore on and the tall target nailed a couple of big marks and kicked two majors in the third to keep the Kangas in the hunt. Late goals from youngster Clay Michael and veteran Zak Hortin ensured the Tigers took a 27-point margin into the last change but an early Brodie Sumich major in the last gave the Kangas a glimmer of hope. That chance was snuffed out thanks to goals from Michael and fellow teenager Mohit Jaggi as the Tigers kicked four goals to three to emerge victors in the opening round. Captain Bodhi Stubber was outstanding in the win, intercepting the ball regularly at half-back while midfielders Stubber and Craig Frost were also influential. Michael finished with three majors in an impressive display up front in the absence of Palfrey. There was plenty of feeling in the match, with Nick Barrow and Ryan Davies yellow carded before half-time for a heated wrestle on the wing and then Hortin was yellow carded for a late hit on Barrow in the fourth. Ravenhill produced a superb debut for the Kangas, kicking 5.2 and taking a number of telling marks, while big-bodied midfielder Jyrin Woods won a host of clearances. Ruckman Josh Dallimore and youngster Kobi Keen were also solid contributors for the Kangas, in Brad Boostma’s first match back as coach of the club.