Strong start helps Kangas secure another grand final appearance

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
North Albany's Alec Haskins break clear against Mt Barker in the preliminary final.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Alec Haskins break clear against Mt Barker in the preliminary final. Credit: Laurie Benson

North Albany will meet Railways in next Sunday’s Great Southern Football League grand final after outlasting Mt Barker by 23 points in today’s preliminary final at Collingwood Park.

The Kangas were never really threatened after kicking five unanswered goals in the first term as they led by 36 points at the first change and remained in control for the majority of the contest.

The two sides kicked four goals apiece in the third term and a breeze favouring the Emu Point end of the ground had faded but the Bulls still kicked towards that end in the final term.

Alec Haskins however made the task of a fourth quarter comeback extremely difficult when he kicked the first goal of the final term stretching the margin to 38 points but the Bulls failed to give in as they booted the next three majors to pull the margin back to 20 points.

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Mt Barker's Daniel Henderson gets his handball out.
Camera IconMt Barker's Daniel Henderson gets his handball out. Credit: Albany Advertiser

But the Bulls could never get the deficit back under three goals at any stage after the first term and the defending premiers prevailed, 14.16 (100) to 11.11 (77), to secure a sixth straight grand final appearance.

The Kangas went in without first choice players Nic Barrow, Taj Williams and Beau Rogers and again Luke Cameron didn’t return from a hamstring injury but it was there experience and class that shone through.

Matt Orzel made the Bulls pay early on as he dominated around the stoppages while Jack McPhee’s influence on the ground, wherever he was playing, grew as the game wore on and co-captain Graham Ross finished with three goals.

Defender Regan Lloyd was terrific along with Michael Trevenen (three goals).

North Albany's Angus McKercher is congratulated by teammates after kicking a goal.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Angus McKercher is congratulated by teammates after kicking a goal. Credit: Albany Advertiser

The Bulls season comes to an end at a preliminary final for the second straight season but they were well served by ruckman Daniel Henderson, livewire forward Dionne Woods (five goals), midfielder Darren Humble and John Lee.

Star ball winner Joel Gray was also a surprise omission from the first semifinal win with his troublesome knee flaring up while Ryan Ballard also missed through injury.

In the minor grades, Royals survived a final quarter challenge from the Tigers to book their place in the colts decider.

The Lions led by 27 points at three quarter time before the Tigers stormed home to make things interesting in the dying minutes but fell seven points short.

Ben Watson and Cameron Lazar kicked two goals each for the Lions while Poch Amores and Shane Buss were important in the 8.7 (55) to 7.6 (48) win.

Jacob Blight booted three majors for the Tigers and was well supported by Ryan Davies and Jamon Barrett.

The Tigers made it through to the reserves grand final after booting five goals to one in the last term as they got over the top of the Kangas by 13 points.

An inaccurate Albany were made to work hard for their preliminary final win over the Kangas, kicking 6.17 but finished 11-point winners in the sixteens.

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