Tigers upset wayward Lions in dour flag fight

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Railways celebrate their reserves premiership triumph on home turf.
Camera IconRailways celebrate their reserves premiership triumph on home turf. Credit: Laurie Benson

Railways claimed their first reserves premiership since 2013 after an upset 10-point win over a wayward Royals, who managed just one goal in Sunday’s grand final.

The Tigers finished the season in third place and had to go the long way to the decider, beating Mt Barker and North Albany, but they produced an inspired performance against the minor premiers on their way to a low-scoring triumph.

After a goalless but physical, and at times ill-disciplined, first quarter, the second term opened up as the Tigers turned the match in their favour in front of a vocal home crowd

Royals' Aran Tilbury leads Railways' Hayden Smart to the ball.
Camera IconRoyals' Aran Tilbury leads Railways' Hayden Smart to the ball. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Kicking with the breeze, the Tigers booted three goals in the space of five minutes from Lindsey Gaunt, Deejay Lovett and Doug Roberts to help swing the momentum and set up a handy 14-point half-time lead.

Roberts bobbed up again to slot the only goal in the third term and push the margin to 17 points as the Lions managed only three points with the wind.

Lions’ big man Chandler Askevold-McDonald ended his side’s woes in front of goal when he slotted their first major with eight minutes left in the final term to give them some hope but the Tigers prevailed in a tense finish, 4.2 (26) to 1.10 (16).

Jim Hull medallist Graham Brenton with the donor Jim Hull.
Camera IconJim Hull medallist Graham Brenton with the donor Jim Hull. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Tigers ruckman Graham Brenton won the Jim Hull Medal for his brilliant display in the centre, taking a number of big grabs around the ground and also winning his first senior premiership.

The Tigers’ performance was a strong all-round team effort but Jack Steel played an outstanding game after being omitted from the league team, while Cohen Scott, Matt Warburton and Hayden Smart were also influential.

Askevold-McDonald was the Lions’ best player and he was well supported by Coel Hunter and Jaxon Nottle.

Railways reserves premiership coach Scott Hillman, captain David Brown and vice-captain Tyrone Haines.
Camera IconRailways reserves premiership coach Scott Hillman, captain David Brown and vice-captain Tyrone Haines. Credit: Albany Advertiser

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