Lions look to home semi

Central Leader - - Sport - By Scott Mor­gan

The march to the Fox Memo­rial semi­fi­nals con­tin­ues for the Mt Al­bert Lions league side.

Af­ter draw­ing with third placed East Coast Bays last week, the Lions up­set com­pe­ti­tion leaders Otahuhu 36-26 on Satur­day at Bert Hen­ham Park.

While the win wasn’t enough to push Mt Al­bert be­yond sec­ond spot, it gives them the op­por­tu­nity to host the first of their semi­fi­nals at Fowlds Park.

“Hope­fully we can get the park in good con­di­tion, pro- vided we don’t get too much rain,” Lions coach Brent Gem­mell says.

He says weeks of wet weather have been a “great lev­eller” in the Fox Memo­rial com­pe­ti­tion, com­pared with dry con­di­tions in the grad­ing round.

“I sup­pose the sec­ond round has def­i­nitely been more dif­fi­cult.”

The Fox Memo­rial has seen Mt Al­bert suf­fer a loss and a draw, af­ter go­ing through un­beaten in the grad­ing round ear­lier in the sea­son.

But Gem­mell took heart from his side’s ef­fort against Otahuhu, with the score chang­ing sev­eral times.

“It’s an ex­cel­lent re­sult for us, but we’re go­ing to have to con­tinue to im­prove if we’re go­ing to win the Fox Memo­rial,” he says.

Gem­mell points to a two try ef­fort from War­riors un­der-20s half­back An­gus Cameron and a strong per­for­mance from prop Richie Vaeau as key fac­tors in the win.

Marist also had a suc­cess­ful week­end, over­com­ing the Te Atatu 30-24.

In the sec­ond-tier Shar­man Cup, Rich­mond scraped into first place ahead of How­ick and Ma­nurewa by one point af­ter thrash­ing a win­less Eller­slie side 68-0.

And Bay Roskill up­set How­ick 28-12, while Pon­sonby went down to Man­gere East 22-18.

In next week’s semi­fi­nals Mt Al­bert face Pa­pakura at Fowlds Park, while East Coast Bays host Marist at Frey­berg Park.

The Shar­man Cup semis will pit Rich­mond and Eller­slie against each other in a re­match at Grey Lynn Park, while Pon­sonby host Bay Roskill at Vic­to­ria Park.

All matches 2.30pm.

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Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

In for the win: Mt Al­bert sec­ond rower Tui Vea scores the fi­nal try of the match to se­cure victory for his team over Otahuhu at Bert Hen­ham Park on Satur­day.

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