Lions pride in cup trifecta

By Ian Beeck | posted on September 19, 2019

ROYALS won three out of four premierships on Sunday at Centennial Stadium culminating in the Great Southern Football League Grand Final where they beat Railways by 41 points.

Earlier in the day, Royals won the Sixteens and Colts before losing the Reserves in a thrilling final quarter where Railways came from behind to kick six goals to one to snatch victory.

But the League was what mainly attracted the huge and vocal crowd with Royals skipper Rhys Jones winning the toss and kicking with the strong breeze.

Royals started nervously being uncharacteristically sloppy and butchering possessions but finally the players worked out the breeze and a fine pas- sage of play featuring long kicking finished with a strong Taylor Powell mark and goal.

Jayson ‘Cyril’ Ford then marked deep on the boundary line and the talented goalkicker went back and slotted it to give his side renewed confidence.

The Lions went into the first break 4.2 (26) to Railways 1.2 (8) but the latter then had the breeze.

An entertaining second quarter had Railways kicking four goals to Royals three with Tigers forward Kenton Gibbs a focal point in attack.

Railways went into the long break only two goals behind to set up a thrilling second half.

Because of the breeze, most pundits were predicting Royals would want a lead of at least six goals after the end of the third quarter but early on, this looked unlikely.

However, Royals then found their mojo highlighted by Ford snapping a goal with his opposite foot to put the Lions five goals up, then a goal to Stephen Beal to seal the game and then a soccered goal to Ford to put the result beyond doubt at 92 to 34 points.

A seven goal to no score third quarter had some sections of the Royals crowd celebrating early.

Railways needed a miracle last quarter but only managed three goals and Royals won the game 14.12 (96) to 8.7 (55).

Royals first-year coach Andrew Ruck was jubilant after the game and Jordan Heil was named best-on-ground to receive the coveted Alan Barnett Medal.

Other good players for the Lions included gun half-back Corey Ward, wily veteran Ryan Kinnear on a wing and star midfielders Micky McGlade and Tyrese Pickett-Miller.

Ford finished with three goals after recovering from a broken nose in the Second-Semi Final while Beal, Stevie Edwards and Coel Hunter all kicked two majors.

For Railways, Gibbs was almost a lone hand in attack and was a constant threat with three goals while Dylan Schorer, Bodhi Stubber and Mitch Green played well.