Kangas, Bulls opt to play it safe
North Albany fine-tuned for their premiership defence with a comprehensive 58-point win over Mt Barker away at Sounness Park on Saturday afternoon.
In a fixture which had no bearing on the finals make-up, both clubs fielded youthful sides but it was the Kangas who were rarely troubled in another dominant performance, 13.14 (92) to 5.4 (34).
The Kangas got the jump on the Bulls and were never headed despite the home side narrowly winning the third term.
The Bulls again missed stars Kym Monteath (hamstring) and Joel Gray (knee) and full-back Adam Tissott was a late withdrawal because of a hamstring complaint with the home side playing it safe.
Veterans Dionne Woods and Darren Humble also missed the match but are expected to be available for Sunday’s cutthroat first semifinal against Royals.
Forwards Nathan Komene and Taj Williams each booted three goals for the victors while Kleemann Medal fancies Matt Orzel and Michael Trevenen were at their prolific best in the win.
Exciting youngster Nitan Benavides and veteran Sam Lehmann were the Bulls’ best but the home side should welcome back a host of regulars.
Kangas coach Craig Dew said his side were happy to finish the match with no further injury concerns, using the game as an opportunity to blood more youth.
The Kangas missed Ray Padfield (suspension), Alec Haskins and Luke Cameron (both hamstrings) and Nick Barrow (illness), creating opportunities for five colts and two under-16 players.
Bulls coach Brad Hook said the choice was to play it safe again, with a number of regulars under injury clouds.
“There was no point risking anyone for a hit-out like that,” he said.
“It was a bit of a tactical game — both sides didn’t really want to show their hand.
“As a unit, they (North Albany) were so well drilled especially in the first half.”
Hook said the club was excited to have earned a home final.
“We haven’t had all three grades in finals for about 20 years since we last won the flag in 1996,” he said.
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