Lions’ winning streak ends in final term thriller

Staff reportersAlbany Advertiser

North Albany have ended Royals unbeaten start to the season, prevailing by eight points in a thrilling contest at Centennial Oval this afternoon to complete Belt Up Round in the Great Southern Football League.

The Lions had won the first four games to start 2017 but made a host of forced changes to their line-up for the clash with the Kangas, played in freezing cold conditions at the new facility.

After a dour opening half the Lions were able to edge ahead and led by 12 points at the main break through livewire Sam Baddeley-Holmes who had four goals to his name.

However the Kangas hit back in the third quarter, kicking towards the end favoured by a strong breeze, as they slammed on five goals to one and took a 16-point buffer into the last change.

In an entertaining final quarter the Lions wasted two early chances but recovered to twice get within a point but the Kangas’ poise along with their run and carry into the breeze was enough to hold on, 11.12 (78) to 10.10 (70).

Jack McPhee was superb all day and was awarded the match day ball as part of Belt Up Round while Matt Orzel, Jake Becroft (three goals) and Alec Haskins were all strong contributors.

For the Lions key forward Baddeley-Holmes was a constant threat and finished with five goals while Rhys Jones and Henry Hodge were also busy.

Yesterday Mt Barker recorded their fourth win of the season, with a hard-fought 34-point win over Railways at Sounness Park.

The Bulls appeared to be gaining control of the match but were wasteful in the second term kicking 1.6 and the Tigers responded impressively, booting five majors in the third quarter to make things interesting.

Leading by nine points at the final break the Bulls kicked clear in the last as they finished winners, 12.15 (87) to 8.6 (54) over the Tigers who have a number of injury concerns from the loss.

Corey Byrne won the Belt Up ball and was joined in the Bulls best by Kym Monteath (four goals) and Nic Chidgzey.

Logan Stubber was superb for the Tigers before injuring his shoulder while Haydn Sproxton and Zane Marwick both had an influence.

Denmark-Walpole survived a third quarter scare from Albany to post their first win of the season, kicking clear with six goals to none in the final quarter to win by 62 points, 14.16 (100) to 6.2 (38).

The Sharks trailed by only 21 points at three quarter time after a four goal to one third term.

Tyler Stone was judged best afield with his four goals pivotal in the Pies holding off the gallant Sharks.

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