Lions dismantle Sharks to make it two straight

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Royals' Jayson Ford and Albany's Dylan Gowdie battle for the ball.
Camera IconRoyals' Jayson Ford and Albany's Dylan Gowdie battle for the ball. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Royals’ impressive start to the new Great Southern Football League season has continued, disposing of Albany by 66 points at Centennial Stadium on Sunday to remain on top spot ahead of a clash with Railways this week.

The Lions recorded their second win in dominant fashion under new coach Andrew Ruck, who pulled on the boots in his first appearance of 2019, booting eight goals to nil in the opening half.

Electric forward Jayson Ford was a large part of the reason the Lions led by 49 points at half-time in the clash between the two round one winners.

Ford was elusive in the forward 50 as he booted three first-quarter majors and added a fourth before the main break, going on to be the most dangerous forward on the ground with 5.4.

Royals' Jordan Heil gets his kick away as Albany's Fraser Eaton applies pressure.
Camera IconRoyals' Jordan Heil gets his kick away as Albany's Fraser Eaton applies pressure. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Midfielders Dave Parker, Jordan Heil and Tom Maslen were all instrumental in the Lions’ 13.14 (92) to 3.8 (26) win, which came without senior trio Rhys Jones, Cameron Allison and Ryan Kinnear playing and the loss of recruit Tyrese Pickett-Miller to injury.

The Lions stocks were further strengthened by the return of Hamish McMorran, playing on a permit from Claremont in the WAFL.

McMorran played the first two reserves games for Claremont this season after managing 16 colts games in 2018 but it is understood he has chosen to return home to the Lions for the rest of the 2019.

Albany's Jack Banks gets his handball away as Royals' Regan Askevold tackles.
Camera IconAlbany's Jack Banks gets his handball away as Royals' Regan Askevold tackles. Credit: Albany Advertiser

The agile tall failed to finish the game but is further firepower for Ruck, who was again encouraged by his team’s performance.

“We were a bit dumb with the footy in the third quarter,” Ruck said.

“I can’t whack the boys for their effort, down two (players) again.

“We are going OK now, so we are a bit of the hunted but 2-0 going into Railways is a nice position to be in.”

Albany's Coen Marwick gets tackled by Royals' Brody Ogle and Regan Askevold.
Camera IconAlbany's Coen Marwick gets tackled by Royals' Brody Ogle and Regan Askevold. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Pickett-Miller strained a hamstring just after half-time and is likely to miss at least a couple of weeks but the damage was done as the Lions kicked the first nine goals of the game.

Corey Ward was terrific across half-back and Steven Edwards again showed his class in key moments. The Lions blooded debutant Ben Watson in the win and they have conceded only 43 points in the first two matches.

The Sharks finally scored a major 15 minutes into the third term, in stark contrast to last week, and simply didn’t look dangerous up forward.

They worked themselves back into the game in the second part of the third term, as the first major to Jake Duperouzel and a goal from captain Rick Wallis helped them win the quarter.

New recruit Matt Baseden, who played for East Fremantle in the WAFL, made his first appearance in Sharks colours and was busy throughout.

Royals' Brayden Parker gets his kick away as Albany's Zac Pearson moves in.
Camera IconRoyals' Brayden Parker gets his kick away as Albany's Zac Pearson moves in. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Defenders Mitch Jackson and Dylan Gowdie battle hard while Wallis and Brock Tiede won plenty of the ball as did Coen Marwick who spent large periods playing behind the ball. Sharks coach Kim Mayfield said there were a couple of areas he was particularly frustrated with.

“I wasn’t happy with our work-rate, he said. “Clearly they are a talented side and their defence was good, very disciplined.

“We bombed the ball, didn’t lower our eyes and 50 points down at half-time, it’s hard work from there.”

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