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Marist Richmond Brothers have reached the Grand Final of the Bartercard Cup competition for the second year running.
The team left their winning charge late to beat Mt Albert 30-22 in the Bartercard Cup major rugby league final at Ericsson Stadium yesterday.
The Brothers didn't get the lead until the 73rd minute when fullback Jan Patelesio scooped the ball up from dummy-half and sprinted 70m to score.
Karl Guttenbeil made it look comfortable when he scored in the last second against a Mt Albert Lions side who had been gutted by Patelesio's effort.
The Brothers ground out a win that gives them next weekend off and a straight run to the grand final on September 19.
Mt Albert play Otahuhu-Ellerslie in the elimination final next weekend, after Otahuhu eliminated North Harbour 25-6 on Saturday.
The Brothers had all the early territory and possession and twice got close to the line only to produce last-gasp knock-ons.
It was 14 minutes before Mt Albert had good position in Brothers territory but they made use of it, captain Steve Buckingham's ground kick bouncing off the posts for Lui Talamaivao to open the scoring.
The Brothers scored again from a Buckingham chip to lead 18-6 at the break.
In the second spell Brothers bench man Eddie Leavai turned on a solo break from 25m out to cut between Buckingham and fullback Andreas Bauer for a try.
Junior Kiwi Robinson Godfrey replied for the Lions.
Brothers five-eighth Rota ran between the forwards for their fourth try and goaled to make it 22-18 with 11 minutes to go.
Another Junior Kiwi, wing Misi Taulapapa, had the opportunity to grab the lead for Marist-Richmond but he lost the ball as he dived at the line.
It was fullback Patelesio who did that for them with a 70m bolt out of dummy-half.
Marist Richmond Brothers vs Mt Albert Lions Ericsson Stadium, Auckland (Curtain Raiser To Warriors vs Bulldogs)
Marist Richmond Brothers 30 (J Tiavale, G Rota, K Guttenbeil, E Leavai, A Su'a tries; G Rota 5 goals)
Mt Albert Lions 22 (M Manu, R Godfrey, L Talamavao, F Soutar tries; S Buckingham 3 goals)
The result from the earlier quarter final.
Saturday 4 September 2004 Otahuhu Ellerslie vs North Harbour Tigers Ericsson No. 2, Auckland
Otahuhu Ellerslie 25 P. Atkins, C. Vuna, F. Nuuausala, D. Fisi'iahi (2) : Tries S. Tufeao (2) : Goals T. Leuluai : Field Goal North Harbour Tigers 6 Q. Ikifana : Tries J. Trott : Goals Halftime Score : 16 - 6 To Otahuhu Ellerslie
BARTERCARD CUP - SEMI FINAL FIXTURE
Sunday 12 September 2004 Mt Albert Lions vs Otahuhu Ellerslie Ericsson Stadium (No.1), Auckland 2.30pm Kick Off