Lions look to home semi
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.
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.