ROYALS came away with a gritty, hard-fought win at Sounness Park on Friday night, clawing their way back from a three-quarter time deficit to overrun Mt Barker by seven points.
Securing their first premiership points of the 2021 GSFLW season, the Lions dominated the territory battle for large portions of the contest and probably should have done more with their opportunities up forward.
But Mt Barker showed a lot of ticker down back and will take a lot of positives in denying one of the premierships fancies an easy avenue to goal.
The Bulls were up and about in the opening term when Nakeesha Miniter slotted the first goal of the game, however the home team struggled to score for the rest of the match.
Although the footy lived in Royals’ front half for most of the second quarter, clear cut chances were few and far between during a high-pressure contest.
It took until the very end of the term for Royals to hit the scoreboard, with a 50m penalty gifting Hayley Asboth an unmissable major on the half-time siren.
While you couldn’t fault Barker’s attack on the footy, costly free kicks were denying them valuable momentum.
The third term was a stalemate, with neither side able to find a major as the ball whipped back and forward between the forward-50 arcs.
But despite the lack of scoring, it was an enthralling contest.
Georgia Kowald and Nardia Humphries offered up an intriguing battle in the ruck, with the latter showing her class when the ball hit the deck.
Barker’s Tahlia McRoberts laid some bone-crunching tackles through the midfield, while Rachael Goetze was a strong presence all day for Royals.
Six minutes into the final term, Barker gave away another free kick close to goal and Gracie Gibson cooly slotted home under pressure to put her side up by five points.
The Lions kept winning the centre clearances and continued to lock the ball in their front half for the remainder of the contest as they ran out 2.5 (17) to 1.4 (10) victors.
Over at Tigerland, Railways showed they will be right up there again this season with a dominant 32-point win against North Albany.
Playing on their home deck, the Tigers got out the blocks early as goals to Kanisha Bennell and Tayla Volker opened up a 13-point lead at quarter time.
North Albany would go into the main break goalless as Britney Bolton snagged the only second-quarter major for Railways.
The Kangaroos’ scoring woes continued after the main break, ending the game without a major.
Volker finished with two majors, while Emily Wray and Ella Scamozzi were impressive around the ground as the Tigers won 5.9 (39) to 0.7 (7).
Meanwhile at McLean Park, Stephanie Grant picked up where she left off last year as the League’s leading goalscorer, nailing four majors for Albany Sharks on their way to a 21-point win over Denmark-Walpole.
Holding the Magpies scoreless in the first term, the Sharks led at every change to run out 5.2 (32) to 1.5 (11).
Sian Lucas and Marlee Ashton were shining lights for Albany, while Meghan Tharratt and Emily Burton showed promise for Denmark.