Albany have clinched their first minor premiership after fighting their way to a thrilling two-point victory over Railways in the top of the table Great Southern Football League clash at Tigerland on Sunday. The result also secured the Sharks a home qualifying final against the same opponent in a fortnight, having now moved two games on top ahead of the final round in the regular season next week. Both sides struggled to hit the scoreboard with any real fluency and the margin never went beyond 15 points in a low-scoring affair. Scores were level with just over five minutes left but two rushed behinds gave Sharks a slender lead and they held on for a memorable 8.6 (54) to 6.16 (52) result in round 14. Tigers’ Jayden Scott struck first with a long-range effort from 50m out before Jayden Zilm found the Sharks opener from a 45m set shot. Kane Shephard gathered tidily 15m out and put through the Tigers’ second but the reigning premiers endured a flurry of misses and Brett Peake found his first of the contest to drag the Sharks within two points at the first break. Zak Hortin and Jack Steel missed shots on goal early in the second quarter and Isaac Baum, who returned from a knee injury, made them pay with a simple conversion in the goal square from a 50m penalty. Jayden Zilm snuck in a set shot on an angle from 40m out and Gus Bockman snapped from close range to help push their side to a game-high 14 point lead. Lachlan Cale put an attempt wide before Scott once again showed his range for the Tigers, jailing his attempt from 50m out the final goal of the half to bring them within seven at half-time. The Sharks conjured a crucial goal through Taj Williams but Hortin answered back from a difficult angle at the other end. Youngster Aiden Clark clunked a brilliant contested mark over Ethan Knee and made no mistake from 30m out to wrestle back the supremacy. Inaccuracy continued to marr strong build-up play from the Tigers with Scott and Joel Want putting through consecutive behinds but Dylan Schorer found a late goal to keep them within reach at three-quarter time, down by three points. Peake found himself open in the goal square, dribbling through the first of the quarter before Shephard goaled from a terrific sidestep at the other end. With players visibly exhausted on both sides, Scott put an effort on the run wide of the big sticks and Want missed a set shot from 40m out to level scores at the 19-minute mark. A snap from Peake was touched and then a scramble on the goal-line followed, those two points proving critical in the final outcome as the Tigers suffered their fourth defeat of the season. Robbie Lee celebrated his 100th league game with a superb performance and Williams (two goals) showed his class through the midfield for the winners. Defenders Tait McLean, who also spent time up the ground, and Kane Pinney were superb and Jayden Zilm chipped in with two majors. For the Tigers, inside midfielders Beau Ewen and Scott (two) were outstanding, Jack Steel worked hard in a negating role on Cameron Jones and Bodhi Stubber was a pillar of reliability in the back half. Tigers’ Tom Palfrey was yellow-carded for a high bump on McLean in the first half. A clinical second quarter guided Royals to their fourth win on the trot, easily taking care of the lowly Denmark-Walpole at Retravision Stadium on Saturday. The Magpies held the in-form Lions to only four goals in the first term but the floodgates opened in the second, to set up the 116-point thrashing. The Lions led by 21 points at quarter-time and that was quickly extended to 64 points with a seven-goal domination in the second period. Key forward Nic Ashford kicked three majors, Adrian Hardy and Joel Flick added their seconds while Coel Hunter and Stephen Beal also converted to push the Lions well clear. From there the home side remained in total control, kicking nine goals to one as they coasted to an eighth win of the season. It was a memorable day for the Lions as they celebrated a record occasion for wingman Ryan Kinnear. Kinnear was busy throughout the afternoon and kicked a final quarter goal where he was mobbed by his teammates, as he equalled the league games record at the club. He was chaired from the ground following his 276th appearance as both sides formed up to acknowledge the GSFL stalwart’s achievement. Midfielder Cameron Allison had one of his best games of the season while the work of defender Steven Edwards, the ever-lively Joel Flick (three goals) and Chandler Askevold-McDonald also stood out. Ben Altus and Brayden Parker enjoyed strong performances while Ashford and Hardy combined well in the front half to kick four majors each. Magpies’ Bailey Bennett was red carded in the third term for striking after Lions’ Daniel Archbold-Mortensen was tackled dangerously and tempers frayed. The visitors, who were without coach Brad Nisbett, toiled hard early in the contest but again were outclassed the longer the game went on. Reagan Hutchinson was outstanding in defeat and was well supported by Barry Roberts, Tyler Stone (one goal) and Daniel Rowling. Meanwhile a rampant 12-goals-to-four first half helped Mt Barker secure victory on home soil in the penultimate round of regular season against North Albany on Saturday. The Bulls skipped ahead to a dominant 49-point lead at half-time and despite an improved Kangas second half, they finished comfortable 19.8 (122) to 13.8 (86) winners in round 14 at Sounness Park. Sam Lehmann and Zach Jackson combined superbly to each finish with six-goal hauls. Three set shots from Lehmann made up part of a seven-goal opening term to the Bulls with Daniel Patching, Zach Jackson, Scott Price and the returning Brent Parsons all firing home long-range efforts to help open a 24-point quarter-time advantage. Graham Ross breathed some life into the stagnant Kangas with the opening major of the second term but the Bulls answered back with the next five. Lehmann had his fourth from an angle 45m out, Zach Jackson bobbed up with two quick-fire goals before a snap from Dylan Gowdie and a roost from Camball McMahon 45m out compounded the Kangas struggles. The visitors chipped away in the third term with Ross adding his second and third goals within five minutes of each other and majors to Matt Orzel and Jackson Davidson added some further respectability. However McMahon and Patching both found the big sticks and Lehmann had his easiest conversion of the afternoon for his fifth, dribbling through a close-range effort in the goal-square. Zach Jackson came alive in the fourth term, putting through three of his six goals and Lehmann booted his sixth within the opening five minutes from a close-range set shot. The Kangas finished in positive fashion however, booting five of the last six goals of the game to trim the margin back to 36 before the final siren. Spearhead Ross kicked three final-term goals before Davidson put through his second and Regan Christensen nailed his first league major from a set shot, much to the delight of his teammates. The Bulls remain a slim chance of securing a home final but will have to rely on the third-placed Lions suffering a heavy defeat against the Kangas and them beating the top of the table Sharks next week. Zach Jackson and Lehmann had plenty of help from defender Darcy Wallinger, while Brandon Ugle and Patching also shone for the home side. For the Kangas, defender Adam Ditchburn intercepted and took the game on all day from defence while Nathan Crudeli, Jyrin Woods and Kobi Keen provided drive through midfield. Ross finished with six goals in a fantastic individual display forward of centre.