Kangas keep dream of five straight alive

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
North Albany's Angus McKercher takes a diving mark.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Angus McKercher takes a diving mark. Credit: Laurie Benson

North Albany’s hopes of winning five straight Great Southern Football League premierships remain alive after they progressed to this week’s grand final after a 23-point win on their home deck over Mt Barker in Sunday’s preliminary final.

The Kangas were without four first-choice players, with co-captain Luke Cameron again not risked to return from a hamstring injury, while Nic Barrow and Taj Williams both missed through illness and Beau Rogers was unavailable.

Despite three forced changes from their losing second semifinal team, the Kangas started superbly after winning the toss and kicking with the aid of a strong breeze in the opening term as they piled on five unanswered goals to set up victory.

North Albany's Jack McPhee.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Jack McPhee. Credit: Albany Advertiser

It was a big risk for the Kangas to go in without Cameron, Barrow and Williams, but one that paid off as the experience of the likes of Graham Ross, Matt Orzel and Jack McPhee helped the home side across the line 14.16 (100) to 11.11 (77), after withstanding a final-term Bulls fightback.

The Kangas led by 36 points at quarter-time and remained in control for the most part, with the Bulls kicking three goals in a row midway through the third and again producing three goals in succession in the last, but they could never get in a position to challenge for the lead.

Alec Haskins extended the margin to 38 points early in the last before the Bulls trimmed it back to 20 points thanks to two goals from the electric Dionne Woods and one from John Lee.

However, a steadying goal from Michael Trevenen ended any Bulls hope, helping the Kangas secure a sixth straight grand final appearance.

Kangas coach Craig Dew was certain they would regain the key quartet for this Sunday’s decider against Railways and praised his back line for another terrific performance.

North Albany's Stuart Parker and Mt Barker's Daniel Henderson contest the centre bounce.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Stuart Parker and Mt Barker's Daniel Henderson contest the centre bounce. Credit: Albany Advertiser

“Our back line was incredible and our experienced players really stood up,” Dew said.

“I’ve never been as worried heading into a game as I was today but it was a real character win without those four.

“All four will come back next week, which leaves us with a couple of decisions to make.”

Ross was outstanding with three goals, Orzel and McPhee were highly influential and Regan Lloyd helped keep the dangerous Kym Monteath to a single goal.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails