Royals end Kangas’ reserves era

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Royals have ended North Albany’s dominance of the reserves competition with a convincing 39-point grand final win on Sunday afternoon at Centennial Stadium.

The Kangas were eyeing off their fourth-straight flag, but could only manage two goals for the entire match as the Lions put the foot down after quarter-time and ran away with a 8.4 (52) to 2.1 (13) victory to win their first reserves premiership since 2009.

The match was forced to finish five minutes early after an ugly incident on the wing where veteran Trevor Craig elbowed Mitch Woods in the face.

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Woods left the ground in an ambulance and, yesterday, was in Perth awaiting surgery on a fractured cheek bone and nose.

North Albany's Mitch Woods.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Mitch Woods. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Neither side was able to generate scoring opportunities in the early stages and Michael Martain’s goal at the 15-minute mark was the first of the match.

Martain’s goal was quickly countered by the Lions though as Joel Flick goaled in the last minute of the quarter.

The Lions then strung three quick goals together in the second quarter to seize control of the match and when Casey Ganzer and Jeremy Lutley goaled in the third quarter the margin had ballooned to 33 points.

Liam Pilgrim took out the Jim Hull medal for best afield after accumulating plenty of possession in the midfield while Braden Murphy was superb at half-back along with Trent Nesbitt and Jake Ashwin.

Royals' Matt Laudher moves onto the ball.
Camera IconRoyals' Matt Laudher moves onto the ball. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Grant Freeborough and Brodie Sumich provided run through the middle for the Kangas while Nathan Komene provided good support.

Royals coach Wayne Benson was thrilled with his side’s performance against such a well-credentialed opposition.

“North Albany have been a pretty tough team to beat for three or four years so to finally get there in the end was really pleasing,” he said

Royals reserves 2017 GSFL premiers
Camera IconRoyals reserves 2017 GSFL premiers Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Kangas coach Russell Hare said his side was beaten at the contest.

“I think they definitely beat us in the contested footy and control of it and moved the ball a lot better than us,” he said.

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