Royals will get the chance to end an 18-year premiership drought after their memorable Albany and Districts Cricket Association A-grade preliminary final victory over Manypeaks in sweltering conditions on Sunday. The Lions marched to their first A-grade grand final since 2002-03, which doubles as their last title triumph, after a perfectly executed run chase in pursuit of 180 to win. It has been a rapid return to prominence in recent seasons for the Lions after they spent several years struggling on-field and did not field an A-grade team in season 2016-17. An 88-run partnership between openers Ryley Valli and Ted Batchelor set the platform for the Lions’ finals victory. Both openers looked comfortable at the wicket before Batchelor fell after skying a ball off Dan Rees on 45, while Valli departed two runs short of a half-century when he chipped a ball to cover off Jeremy Stewart as the Lions fell to 2-110. Fresh off a century the previous day, Lions captain Mitch Green came to the wicket with a lot of the heavy lifting already done and his run-a-ball 48 was the perfect tonic for his side to get through to a long-awaited grand final appearance. Green shared in a vital 53-run stand with youngster Lorcan McNamara (11) before hitting the winning runs down the ground, and vice-captain Jack Steel (7) was alongside him as they passed the total with 13 balls to spare. Lively fast bowler Paul Donaldson came back for a fired up spell in a bid to knock over the Lions star batsman but it was unsuccessful, as Peaks season came to an abrupt end. Green has made 655 runs this season and said his side’s finals win was full of character. “Those early wickets absolutely set up the game, our boys bowled beautifully,” he said. “To have them at 5-80 was a great effort but then we probably let them drift a bit and we were chasing 30-40 more than we should have been. “I’m really proud of the two boys at the top, Ted is working really hard on his game and Ryley is a quality player and those two were exceptional. “Really proud of the group, where we have come from at the start of the season. We have backed in the kids the whole time and they are starting to repay the faith, they are an important part of our team.” Peaks were on the back-foot from the start as Regan Poett was dismissed in the first over for the second straight day. Dan Rees was caught behind in the sixth over of the match off David Brown before Seb Stanton and Nathan Poole steadied the ship with a 49-run stand. However Stanton was caught behind off the bowling off Marcus Mellon and then Lions youngster Caleb Haua (2-13) claimed the big scalp of Poole, trapping him in front for 19. Haua struck three bowls later as he crashed into Warwick Durack’s off stump as Peaks crumbled to 5-63. Donaldson (42) and captain Aran Tilbury (41) got Peaks back into the game with a vital 82-run partnership, Tilbury riding his luck with the bat but he was effective in ensuring his side passed 150. “We lost early wickets and that put us on the back foot from the get go,” Tilbury said. “They batted really well and they made the runs quite easily in the end. “They played well and they deserved the win.” Peaks lost young quick Jack Stephens to a back injury midway through their bowling innings.