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Fierce rivals Royals and Mt Barker clash in final round of A-grade season with grand final spot up for grabs

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Royals' Myles Holland hits out against Mt Barker earlier this season.
Camera IconRoyals' Myles Holland hits out against Mt Barker earlier this season. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

A grand final spot is up for grabs between rivals Royals and Mt Barker when they clash in the final game of the regular season on Saturday.

In what has been a terrific finish to the home-and-away season, just four points separate the Lions and Bulls going into round 15 of the Albany and Districts Cricket Association A-grade competition.

The same two sides have met in the past two 50-over grand finals, each winning a drought-breaking premiership.

This season both have won eight of their 11 games in the 50-over format and the Bulls have collected 12 bonus points and the Lions 10 — justifying their standing as the top two teams in the title race.

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With only five teams in the A-grade competition, the ADCA has a top-three finals system in place and the side that finishes the regular season on top will progress directly into the grand final on March 18.

The second and third ranked teams will play off in a preliminary final on March 11.

The Bulls won the most recent 50-over fixture between the two sides, skittling the Lions for 77 that day.

However, the Lions were dominant 120-run winners in their round 10 encounter in January.

That was the last loss for the Bulls, who are full of confidence on the back of four one-day victories heading into the final round.

They beat Manypeaks by 35 runs last week, without key trio Patrick Butler, Jarrad Gardner and Steven Scott.

The Lions had the bye in round 14 but are likely to have an unchanged team from the side that were three-wicket winners over Peaks in round 13.

Despite their blemish to the Bulls on February 12, the Lions have been in good form winning six of their past seven 50-over matches.

They were also crushing winners in the recent T20 grand final over Collingwood Park.

Saturday’s defining final round clash will start at 12.15pm at Turf South.

The other final round fixture between Manypeaks and Railways will be a dead rubber at Turf North while Park have the bye and will await the outcome of the Bulls and Lions fixture to see who they face in the preliminary final.

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