Royals reach the finals despite Zanetti’s eight goals
Royals have prevailed in a nailbiting contest at Centennial Stadium to secure a finals berth despite a brilliant eight-goal haul from Denmark-Walpole star Shayne Zanetti this afternoon.
The winner of the Lions and Magpies round 15 clash would finish in fourth place while the loser would have their season ended, and the match certainly delivered.
The Magpies led by two points at three-quarter-time but the home side quickly snatched the lead as they booted the first four goals of the fourth stanza.
However the Magpies were not done with as two majors from Zanetti and a superb snap from Gryphon Roy pulled the margin back to five points.
Enigmatic forward Harry Broomhall kicked the sealer, his fifth for the game as the Lions hung on by 10 points.
Jaden Guidi missed two gettable shots in the dying minutes to get the buffer back to single figures but the Lions four-goal burst at the beginning of the final term proved decisive as they progressed to the finals, 14.11 (95) to 13.7 (85).
Cent Amores, Henry Hodge, Broomhall (five goals) and Michael McGlade (two) all had great influence on the game while Andrew Ruck, playing as a deep forward, had his moments and kicked three vital majors.
Zanetti was outstanding in the loss, finishing with 8.1 which included three goals from his first four kicks of the second term.
The Magpies led by eight points at quarter time and the same margin at the long break but despite the work of Codey Baxter, Brody Hickey and Tyler Stone they fell short as their season came to an end.
North Albany fine tuned for their premiership defence with a comprehensive 58-point win over Mt Barker away at Sounness Park.
In a fixture which has no bearing on the finals make-up, both clubs fielded youthful sides but it was the Kangas who were rarely troubled in another dominant performance, 13.14 (92) to 5.4 (34).
Forwards Nathan Komene and Taj Williams each booted three goals for the victors while Kleemann Medal fancies Matt Orzel and Michael Trevenen were at their prolific best in the win.
Exciting youngster Nitan Benavides and veteran Sam Lehmann were the Bulls best but the home side should welcome back a host of regulars for their cut-throat first semifinal against Royals on Sunday.
Railways have finished off the home and away season with a comfortable 95-point win over Albany at Tigerland.
The Tigers set up the win with a dominant first half kicking five goals to one in first quarter before kicking seven unanswered goals in the second quarter to push the margin out to 69 points.
Kenton Gibbs kicked the first four goals of the last term as the margin entered triple figures but the Sharks hit back with three goals to double their score before Gibbs kicked his ninth goal after the siren.
Gibbs won the Sean Plaisted Medal after his nine-goal haul while Zane Marwick and Joel Want won a stack of football and player-coach Craig Frost was also vital in the 20.11 (131) to 5.6 (36) win.
Jack Banks tried hard all day along with likely customers Stewart Davies and Tait Mclean for the Sharks while Mitch Jackson was their only multiple goal kicker.
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