Royals have booked their place in the Great Southern Football League preliminary final after outlasting Mt Barker to claim a 14-point win in the elimination final at Retravision Stadium on Sunday. It was a special day for Lions faithful, with brothers David and Brayden Parker both making their 200th and 150th league appearances while Ryan Kinnear also broke the Lions’ club games record with a 276th league game. The form team of the competition made a big statement, fighting back from an early quarter-time deficit to snatch control and lead at both half-time and three-quarter time as they claimed a gruelling 9.17 (71) to 7.15 (57) victory. The home side were scampering for possession early with the Bulls gaining the ascendancy but they missed their first three chances on goal. Scott Price snagged their first major from 10m out before Joel Gray and Price missed consecutive chances. Nic Ashford made them pay at the other end with an easy finish from a clever Jayson Ford assist but the Bulls had the next two through Camball McMahon and a soccer goal from Price. The Lions stamped their authority immediately after the first break, Corey Ward snapping his first before Adrian Hardy jailed an attempt from 40m out to trim the margin back to three points. Ashford guided his second major of the day through to gift his side a narrow lead and Mitch Jackson was caught holding the ball in the goal square with Brandon Elliott saluting with a goal to extend the buffer to 12 points at the main break. After a flurry of missed chances either way, emerging forward Camball McMahon sailed through a crucial major on the run from 45m out before a piece of clever roving from Ben Kirkwood tied scores. Despite the breeze working slightly in the Bulls’ favour, Elliott ensured the Lions went into the last change with a slender advantage, nailing an attempt from 40m out to remain four points ahead. Ford came alive in the early stages of the final term, snapping truly from 30m out before just missing two chances in the minutes that followed. The Bulls were reinvigorated when Price worked his set shot from left to right to cut the margin back to seven but that optimism would be short-lived. Ward gathered from a pack in the goal square to put through his second and after a few missed opportunities, Hardy then sealed the result with a snap. Price kicked his fourth late in the term but it was too late as the Bulls were bundled out of the premiership race and the Lions’ faithful were rejoicing. Ben Altus was superb on the wing while Ward (two goals), Steven Edwards also shone. Stephen Beal competed well in the ruck for the Lions while Elliott, Hardy and Ashford all finished with two goals each. For the Bulls, Daniel Patching gathered a stack of possessions while Zach Jackson, Nigel Penny and Price (four goals) also toiled hard. Earlier in the day the Lions knocked out Denmark-Walpole in a thrilling elimination final of the sixteens competition. The Magpies led by 12 points at the last break but the Lions stormed home with four majors in the fourth quarter to secure a six-point win and progress to the preliminary final. Railways progressed in both the colts and reserves, downing the Magpies and Bulls respectively. The Tigers held the Magpies to a single point in the first three quarters and had to withstand a strong fightback in the final term to win by 18 points in the colts elimination final. In the reserves, a five-goal-to-one first half set up the Tigers’ comfortable 28-point win despite the Bulls kicking three majors in the final quarter.