Kangas clinch fourth straight flag in dramatic fashion

Staff reportersAlbany Advertiser

North Albany won a fourth straight Great Southern Football League premiership after a dramatic three-point grand final triumph over Royals in front of a bumper crowd at Centennial Stadium this afternoon.

The Kangas trailed by a point at three-quarter-time and it appeared the Lions were set to make it a fourth premiership for the day as they skipped 10 points clear when Peter Mark soccered a goal from close range.

Goals to captain Graham Ross and then inspired midfielder Matt Orzel snatched back the advantage for the Kangas but Orzel’s major was almost immediately answered with young tall Hamish McMorran calmly slotting a 45m set shot.

A behind to Ray Padfield made it a three-point game and as the match entered the final three minutes the resulting kick out from Rory Callaghan was intercepted by Kangas’ Jack Steel.

Steel squared the ball up to Luke Cameron, who nervously guided through the major from 15m out against a tough breeze to put them back in front.

The Kangas had to endure a tense final couple of minutes with the ball locked in the Lions forward 50 after some swift clearance work from dominant big man Sam Baddeley-Holmes but it would end in heartbreak for his side.

As the final siren rang out, the Kangas were sent into jubilation with a 9.8 (62) to 8.11 (59) victory to secure a record equalling fourth straight flag.

Lions teenager Tyron Smallwood won the Alan Barnett Medal as the best player in the grand final, his 27 disposals and a goal in a losing side was simply superb.

The Lions lost five players to injury in the end after spending large parts of the match in front but were served gallantly by Smallwood, Baddeley-Holmes and young star Tom Baldwin.

Orzel was terrific in the middle, hauling his side back into the contest in the second half, while Corey Hitchock had some pivotal moments and kicked two goals.

Jack Steel was lively throughout the decider and Cameron finished with three crucial goals in the premiership triumph.

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