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Mt Albert Lions join Marist Richmond Brothers in the Bartercard Cup Grand Final for 2004.
With Marist Richmond securing a spot in the final last weekend when they defeated Mt Albert, the Lions had to fight for their right against Otahuhu Ellerslie yesterday at Ericsson.
The newly formed joint venture club came out hard on defence against the experienced Mt Albert side but were eventually worn down with the Lions finally winning by a comfortable 35-22.
A great battle was anticipated between the Otahuhu Ellerslie halfback Thomas Leuluai, and the Lions stand off Steve Buckingham, and those present were not disappointed as the experience of both players shone through for their respective sides.
The Lions kept Leuluai under tight reins early in the match allowing some excellent plays by Buckingham.
Otahuhu-Ellerslie's only points of the first half came from a piece of solo brilliance from Leuluai, when he took on the line from 20m out 30 minutes into the gamre.
With the half time score of 22-6 the Mt Albert side were in total control of the match even with the Otahuhu Ellerslie side coming back at them in the second.
The third win of three over Otahuhu Ellerslie by the Lions showed they are more than ready to take on Marist Richmond Brothers in the Bartercard Cup Final next Sunday afternoon. The Mt Albert club also are in the final of the Fox Memorial which is the curtain raiser to the main event.
BARTERCARD CUP - SEMI FINAL RESULT
Sunday 12 September 2004
GRAND FINALS DAY Sunday 19 September 2004 Ericsson Stadium No.1, Auckland