Trio boost Bulls hope of final replay

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Mt Barker are set to bolster their side for this weekend’s blockbuster preliminary final against Royals at Centennial Stadium with the inclusion of key trio Corey Byrne, Tyron Miller and Brenton Edwards.

Vital link man Miller is returning from an injured hamstring that he received in round 12 against Albany, while utility Byrne was unavailable for last week’s semi-final.

Edwards played two league games earlier in the season and qualified for the finals after playing reserves for the Bulls against Railways in round 15.

Bulls coach Shane Thompson said his side was focused on winning the midfield battle.

“It starts in the midfield — we need to get on top early in there and if we get enough supply into our forwards, I think we’re a fair chance,” he said. “We’ve got Monteath, Ballard, Parker and a few others down there, so if we can get enough entries they should be able to get the score on the board.

“We’ve got to spread the ball and make them defend.”

Lions coach James McRae said ruckman Peter Mark was unlikely to return from a hamstring injury and ruled out midfielder Dave Parker.

Key forward Sam Baddeley-Holmes isa 50-50 chance after missing the second semifinal clash with North Albany because of an injured back, according to McRae.

McRae said the Lions would need to bounce back after a poor display against the Kangas.

“We had our opportunities last week — we just couldn’t kick goals,” he said. “We need to get back to playing our game; we have to take the game on and just worry about our own game.

“We’ve got to hit the scoreboard this week too. We didn’t take our opportunities last week and that cost us.” Last time the sides met in round 13, the Bulls used a nine-goal second half to overpower the Lions by 28 points.

In round 8, the Lions recorded a 22-point win, while in round 3 it was a comfortable 35-point win for the Lions.

The venue for the match was up in the air after planned major works by Western Power meant a power outage from 8am-6pm near Centennial Stadium.

However after discussion with all parties, generators will be used to power the venue rather than moving the fixture to another ground.

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