Royals notched their second win of the Great Southern Football League season with a comfortable 47-point win over North Albany at Collingwood Park in Belt-Up Round on Sunday. The victory helped the Lions push past Mt Barker on the ladder, moving to third place on percentage after round five. The Lions could have boosted their percentage further if not for some wayward kicking at goal, however a five-goal second term set the tone for the contest as the Kangas went down 14.22 (106) to 9.5 (59). Despite an early ascendancy with inside 50s and clearances, the Lions weren’t able to translate that on the scoreboard with the home side finding majors through Lucas Ravenhill and Kobi Keen. Nick Ashford hit back for the Lions but Jackson Cosh ensured the Kangas went into the break seven points ahead after nailing a brilliant running goal from the boundary. The visitors had their tails up in the second term, a flurry of late goals helping them regain control of the game. Taylor Powell put through his first in the goal-square, Jordan Hulm got on the end of another one from close range and then Ashford converted a snap from 35m out. When Taylor Powell found the chest of a leading Ashford 40m out on a slight angle, the key-forward made no mistake in front of goals, helping push the margin out to 20 points at the main break. The Lions had all the play in the third quarter but found little reward on the scoreboard with Sam Holmes hitting the post in the goal-square before Joel Flick and Corey Ward missed chances on the run. Despite dominating clearances and goal chances, the Lions’ only two majors came through Ward and the returning Tyreice Brown while Kangas’ Ravenhill got one back for the home side. The margin ballooned out to 58 points at one stage in the fourth quarter after goals to Ryan Kinnear, Ashford, Brandon Elliot and Flick. The Kangas found some solace through late goals to Nathan Shanhun, Ravenhill, Cosh and Graham Ross but they slumped to a fourth loss of their 2023 campaign. Brayden Parker was brilliant through midfield and dominated for large passages of the third quarter, while midfield partner Cameron Allison, winger Flick and half-back flanker Braden Murphy also showed good signs along with ruckman Stephen Beal and defender Corey Linthorne. Ravenhill kicked four goals in a losing side and battled hard all day with a determined Linthorne while youngster Kobi Keen made a sound return to the side and Jarrad McDowall was terrific in the midfield and up forward. Nathan Crudeli and Nathan Shanhun also toiled hard in a losing affair. Parker was awarded the Belt-Up Round match ball while McDowall and Flick earned the Belt-Up jumpers for their respective sides. Albany continued their best-ever start to a GSFL season with a hard-fought win over Mt Barker on Saturday, moving to a perfect five wins from five game to start the year. The 52-point win at Retravision Stadium helped the Sharks consolidate top spot on the ladder as star forward Brett Peake bagged six goals in another strong individual display. The visitors responded to a goalless first term by piling on 10 goals in the second and third quarters to drag back the margin but the home side had all the answers in the crucial stages of the contest. The Bulls trailed by just 19 points heading into the final change but a five-goal to nil last quarter handed the Sharks a well-deserved 17.18 (120) to 10.8 (68) triumph. Things looked promising early for the visiting side with a few quick clearances and two inside-50s, but a set shot for Isaac Baum at the other end gave Sharks an early lead. Aiden Clark snagged his first ever league goal and players came from everywhere to celebrate with him before goals to Lewis Bosch and Connor McCandless helped the Sharks skip to a 25-point lead at the first change. Two early misses to Dylan Gowdie were punished by Jack Beeck at the other end as he put through his first major. Both sides went goal-for-goal with Gowdie making up for his early errors, booting three third-term majors to help keep his side within touching distance. After Sharks’ Taj Williams slotted his first for the day, Bulls’ Alexander Skinner responded with a major before Gowdie put through one of his three in the final seconds as they clawed back to within 16 points at halftime. The third term was packed with end-to-end football, neither side allowing their opponent to gain momentum with a run of more than two goals. Peake and Jackson engaged in a shootout, each kicking three goals apiece in a fiery quarter and the Bulls were still within touching distance towards the end of the quarter. Gowdie slammed home a major from 40m on an angle before Jackson put one through from a set shot 35m out just moments later. However Peake showed his experience with the last goal of the term, dragging his defender up the ground and finding a goal out the back to push the margin back to 19 at the final change. The Sharks finished in dominant fashion, two goals to Peake and single majors to Gus Bockman, Bryce Blaszkow and Baum sealed their fifth consecutive win. Baum and Blaszkow were outstanding in the middle and at stoppages along with Robbie Lee on the wing and Kane Pinney in defence. Peake was dangerous all afternoon and could have had more goals if not for some errant kicking, finishing with figures of 6.7. Bulls defenders Darcy Wallinger and Lee Pavlovich played superbly under immense pressure while Jackson (three goals), Seth Jones and Gowdie (four goals) all toiled hard. Railways quickly bounced back to the winners circle taking care of Denmark-Walpole in a shortened match at McLean Park on Saturday. The two clubs agreed to play 20 minutes and no time on across the four quarters but the Tigers ran out 110-point winners to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of the Sharks last week. Half-forward Angus Spencer kicked two goals in the opening term as the Tigers opened up a 32-point buffer and it should have been more by half-time but for the visitors’ inaccuracy. With Jayden Scott and Ryan Davies dominating in the midfield and Leighton Smith mopping up well at half back, the Tigers continued to assert their authority on the game but were wasteful and had 8.8 to their name at the long break. The Magpies trailed by 55 points heading into the second half and despite the best efforts of ruckman Luke Galantino and grunt midfielder Tyler Stone, they couldn’t stop the Tigers’ momentum in the third. Clay Michael was pushed forward and kicked two goals while majors from Toby Hall, Zak Hortin and Smith gave the Tigers a 90-point buffer. The Magpies finally broke the run of 13 consecutive Tigers’ goals when Stone converted from close range to plenty of cheers from the home supporters. Hortin added two more and Michael bagged a third however as the Tigers cruised to victory, 18.16 (124) to 2.2 (14). Davies won plenty of possessions to be awarded the match day ball by the umpires along with the Belt-Up jumper for the Tigers while Bailey Bennett was the Magpies’ recipient of the jumper. Scott was outstanding in the middle, winning a stack of clearances and disposals to set his side up for their fourth win of the season. Smith was strong in the back half, Zak Hortin kicked four goals despite being yellow carded for umpire abuse in the first term and Logan Stubber also was influential at key times. Stone was terrific again in a losing affair, Bennett battled hard around the ball while Galantino, Baden Clarke and Cody Kerr were also among the Magpies better players. Tigers midfielder Bailey Bennett didn’t play a minute on the field despite being fully kitted up and sitting on the bench for the entire game, the club saying he was injured in the warm-up. Assistant Dan Cale also took on the role as game day coach, with Mark Bayliss stepping aside for the afternoon.