Lions win soured by first quarter incident

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Royals' Mitch Curnow gets his handball clear.
Camera IconRoyals' Mitch Curnow gets his handball clear. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

North Albany have lodged a notice of investigation to the Great Southern Football League after an incident that left Kangas defender Ian Robson with a broken nose, which soured the Royals’ 54-point win to finish NAIDOC Round on Sunday.

The Lions all but secured a top-two finish after the emphatic victory but it came amid a dramatic few moments on the verge of quarter-time at Centennial Stadium.

As Kangas forward Daniel Parker gave away a 100m penalty, a scuffle broke out inside the Lions’ attacking 50m arc after Robson came from the ground bleeding from his face.

The off-the-ball incident saw Robson taken to hospital and play no further part in the match. No report was made by the two central umpires, who had to separate the two sides as they broke for quarter-time when tempers flared.

North Albany's Jake Becroft kicks as Royals' Mackenzie Batten applies pressure.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Jake Becroft kicks as Royals' Mackenzie Batten applies pressure. Credit: Albany Advertiser

A female spectator came onto the field of play immediately after the incident and had to be removed from the ground prior to the second quarter starting.

Kangas coach Craig Dew confirmed his club had lodged the notice of investigation yesterday under GSFL by-laws.

The margin was just six points at quarter-time but the Lions kicked the first three goals of the second term to gain the ascendancy and they took a 17-point buffer into the long break on the back of some brilliance from forward Jaiden Alison, who kicked four for the quarter.

Alison should have kicked five, hitting the post from point-blank range in the second, but he added a fifth in the third term and Coel Hunter bobbed up with two majors as the Lions pushed the margin beyond 50 points.

Royals' Tyrese Pickett-Miller played a key part in the win.
Camera IconRoyals' Tyrese Pickett-Miller played a key part in the win. Credit: Albany Advertiser

The Kangas won the final term but they were no match for the table-topping Lions, who cruised to a 15.17 (107) to 7.11 (53) victory.

Steven Edwards played a pivotal part in the Lions’ win, collecting 21 classy disposals across half-back to go with nine marks. Tyrese Pickett-Miller, like Edwards with WAFL experience, was also among the Lions’ best along with Michael McGlade, veteran Ryan Kinnear and Tyreice Brown.

Lions coach Andrew Ruck was impressed again by his side’s ability to kick a winning score.

“North are a proud club and their pressure early was really good,” Ruck said.

“I thought if we didn’t win it in the first, second or third we’d win it in the last but our third quarter was brilliant.”

The Lions beat their opponent for the second time this season, moving four games clear of the third-placed Kangas as a result with five games to play.

Royals' Jaiden Alison tries to mark at full stretch ahead of North Albany defender Regan Lloyd.
Camera IconRoyals' Jaiden Alison tries to mark at full stretch ahead of North Albany defender Regan Lloyd. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Midfielder Nathan Crudeli continued his outstanding season with 40 possessions in a losing affair, while Alex Pearce (27 disposals) and Jacob Hobbs did a power of work in the middle of the ground.

Graham Ross was the Kangas’ only multiple goal kicker after they lost full-forward Daniel Parker to injury.

Dew said his side were not panicking despite the heavy defeat, with first-choice players Matt Orzel, Ray Padfield, Talon Delacey, Nic Barrow and Mitch Lenegan all absent.

“We are not a million miles away — put those five back in and we are OK,” he said.

“This is a mature group, it’s July and we’ll attack the last part of the year with a bit of confidence and people outside the club will laugh, but we have belief.”

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