Lions secure first win at Centennial Stadium debut

Cameron Newbold and Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Royals have won the first official league match played at the new Centennial Stadium, carving out a scrappy 115-point victory against co-tenants Albany to kick off round 1 of the Great Southern Football League season this afternoon.

The Lions and Sharks were handed the keys to the fantastic mutli-million dollar facility this week and despite cold, windy conditions a large crowd was on hand to witness Centennial Stadium in action for the first time.

Fittingly in their first proper home game since joining the competition, the Sharks kicked the opening goal of the contest and produced a spirited effort in the first quarter to trail by only 20 points.

However the class and poise of the Lions began to shine through as they piled on late goals in the second quarter kicking with a strong breeze and then pulled away in the second half to record a comfortable win, 20.22 (142) to 4.3 (27).

Midfielders Dave Parker and Ryan Kinnear were prolific ball winners while Trent Nesbitt was impressive at centre half forward with four goals.

Ben Gray also played up forward and kicked three goals along with recruit Sam Baddeley-Holmes as the Lions finished with five multiple goal kickers.

The Sharks were well served by midfielder Jack Banks, defender Marcus Mellon and ruckman Stewart Davies who won the hit outs decisively.

Under new senior coach Scott Sedgwick, the Sharks kicked the first goal in three of the four quarters and applied strong pressure around the stoppages.

Meanwhile Mt Barker overcame a slow start to record a comprehensive 48-point win against Denmark-Walpole in their GSFL opener at McLean Park today.

With a swag of new recruits the Bulls looked shaky in the first quarter, however chemistry among the players built as the game wore on and they pulled away in the third quarter, kicking five goals to three against a stiff breeze to finish ahead, 14.11 (95) to 7.5 (47).

New key forward Daniel Parker finished with 4.4, missing three set shots in a strong first outing for the Bulls while Nic Chidgzey and Peter Taylor were superb through the middle of the ground when the game was in the balance.

Corey Byrne and Kym Monteath were also solid in their first games for the Bulls.

For the Magpies Jack Hickey was excellent playing off the half back flank and kept livewire John Lee quiet for the most part, with Kaden King-Davies accumulating plenty of the football in the midfield.

The final round 1 fixture will be played on Anzac Day between Railways and North Albany.

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