Lions edge Bulls in high-scoring preliminary final

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Royals will meet North Albany in next Sunday’s Great Southern Football League grand final after winning a high-scoring and enthralling preliminary final against Mt Barker by 23 points at Centennial Stadium this afternoon.

A week after kicking just one goal in the second semifinal disaster, the Lions responded in perfect fashion with a six goal opening term to open up a 21-point buffer by quarter time.

The Bulls hit back with the first three goals of the second quarter but the Lions took the momentum into the major break after booting the last three goals of the term.

A five-goal-to-three third quarter from the Bulls, led by livewire Kym Monteath who bagged three for the term, cut the margin to 13 points by the last change.

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The visitors drew first blood in the final term when youngster Joel Gray snapped to make it a seven point game but the Lions steadied through Peter Mark at the other end almost immediately.

Veteran Ryan Ballard again reduced the margin to single figures when he snapped his second but the Lions booted the next three goals to charge towards the decider.

Royals celebrate their preliminary final victory.
Camera IconRoyals celebrate their preliminary final victory. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Mark, Cam Smith and Tyron Smallwood, who were all very influential, kicked the final three goals as the Lions booked another meeting with the Kangas after prevailing 17.8 (110) to 13.9 (87).

Smith finished with five majors, Mark was a telling presence all afternoon and booted 4.4 while Smallwood’s work in the midfield was superb to go with three goals.

Ben Gray provided great dash off half back to go with strong contributions from Ryan Flick and Baldwin.

The only sour point was a shoulder injury to versatile big man Taylor Powell, who finished the game on the bench.

The Bulls were best served by Kym Monteath, who was sensational up forward with six goals, while Russell Wynne, Gray and David Stone were all gallant in the defeat.

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