Third spot still on the line in final round
Mt Barker will know their fate on Sunday afternoon at Centennial Stadium, with third spot and hosting rights for next week’s elimination final to be decided this weekend.
The final round of the Great Southern Football League regular season will pit the third-placed North Albany against Royals at Collingwood Park on Saturday, while the fourth placed Bulls travel in to face Albany the next day.
The Kangas and Bulls are locked together on 28 points but the reigning five-time premiers have a superior percentage over their out-of- town rivals.
The Bulls will enter the weekend confident and if the Kangas can’t upset the Lions, they will only need a win over the Sharks to snatch third place.
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The team that finishes in third will play next Sunday’s suddendeath first semifinal at their home ground. The Bulls will regain vice-captain Luke Hammond and defender Lee Pavlovich, while injured duo Nitan Benavides and Leigh Conway are ready to return, according to coach Brad Hook.
John Lee, who dislocated his ankle against the Lions in round 11 is also progressing well.
Lee has hinted at a possible return for the Bulls’ first semifinal against the Kangas in just over a week. The Kangas will be sweating on the fitness of Mitch Woods, who went down with a whiplash injury last Sunday, and Ray Padfield failed to finish the game with a groin complaint.
Star midfielder Matt Orzel will boost the Kangas’ hopes of ending the Lions’ 11-game winning streak and Nic Barrow remains on the sidelines. Premiership player Joel Coyne returned to play his first league game for the Kangas last week and utility Kris Ericson has also come back into the league fold.
In the other round 15 game, Railways will play Denmark-Walpole at McLean Park on Saturday.
All eyes will be on the race for the Sean Plaisted Medal as the leading goal kicker in the final round, with veteran Dionne Woods (39 goals) holding a slender advantage over Jaiden Alison (35) and Jesse Wynne (32).
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