Railways withstand challenge on Anzac Day

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

An impressive midfield performance from Railways has guided them to a hard-fought 22 point win over reigning premiers North Albany in the well-supported Anzac Day clash at Tigerland on Tuesday afternoon.

Played in front of a bumper crowd of more than 600 people, the Tigers controlled the first half of the contest before the Kangas hit back to leave the game in the balance at three-quarter-time.

After leading by as much as 29 points during the first half, the Tigers were challenged by the three-times premiers and when Dom Knight kicked a simple goal early in the final term, the margin was reduced to nine points.

Railways' Zane Marwick breaks clear of North Albany's Matt Orzel.
Camera IconRailways' Zane Marwick breaks clear of North Albany's Matt Orzel. Credit: Albany Advertiser

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The home side were able to steady though, as Tayler Neale set up Coen Marwick for his second goal of the game to return the deficit to double figures.

With their midfield again working hard around the stopp-ages, the Tigers then killed off any Kangas’ hope when Coen Marwick marked and jailed his third goal late in the piece.

North Albany's Brodie Sumich attempts to mark over Railways’ Jack Hastie.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Brodie Sumich attempts to mark over Railways’ Jack Hastie. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Prolific ball winner Zane Marwick was superb for the winners, collecting 44 possessions and seven marks, and his first-half influence was hard to argue with 29 touches and a goal before the Kangas sent Adam Ditchburn to tag him in the second half.

The Tigers’ midfield was their shining light with the return of Jarrod Whittle on a wing adding to the performance of Zane Marwick and clearance specialist Logan Stubber (23 disposals) while recruits Ryan Lovegrove-Hudson and Joel Want also impressed in the 9.12 (66) to 6.8 (44) result.

Coen Marwick and Lyndsay Horton Medal winner Matt Van Schayk kicked three majors apiece while new player-coach Craig Frost mopped up well across half- back. The turning point for the home side came in the second quarter after Beau Rogers and Jake Becroft’s back-to-back goals for the Kangas.

North Albany's Matt Orzel gets his kick away.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Matt Orzel gets his kick away. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Despite dominating possession and inside 50s, the Tigers had little to show on the scoreboard but a seven-minute period before half-time broke the game open.

Ruckman Laurie Dowsett kicked a long-range running goal before Van Schayk slotted consecutive goals to stretch the margin to 29 points.

Frost praised his side for their first round performance, especially their defensive six.

“It’s a good feeling to get that first win and to do it on Anzac Day,” Frost said.

“We had controlled things but they came out in the second half and stopped our run.

“Overall, I thought our backs were pretty good to keep them under eight goals but the midfield is obviously a bit changed and there is more run and drive and depth in there now with the mix we have.”

North Albany's Matt Orzel gets out a handball as Railways' Shane Braimbridge tackles.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Matt Orzel gets out a handball as Railways' Shane Braimbridge tackles. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Frost said his charges must recover quickly ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster with Royals at Centennial Stadium.

“We’ve got a hard draw to start with North and now Royals,” he said.

“The focus will be on recovery this week.” The Kangas were best served by Jack McPhee, Matt Orzel (29 possessions), Becroft and Ray Padfield but coach Craig Dew said the Tigers’ midfield set up the win.

“The first half, they were all over us. They went harder than us and won the footy,” he said.

“Zane and Logan cut us up but after half-time, I was ecstatic. We played a lot like the way we want to.

“Skill errors hurt us and 14 scoring shots to 21 is a reflection of the game — all credit to Railways.”

Kangas recruit Michael Wright moved well in the first half before being concussed and forward Beau Rogers booted two goals on debut.

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