ELLIOTT Powell defied what should have been a season-ending foot injury to play an important role in Albury’s sixth premiership in eight seasons on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, who ruptured the lisfranc ligament in his foot in the second semi-final a fortnight earlier, passed a fitness test on Saturday morning to take his place in the all-conquering line-up.
The Tigers will be fined $100 for bringing Powell in from outside the emergencies but that is the least of their worries.
Powell sought second and third opinions to get the green light to play with an injury that was described as “similar to Dane Swan’s without the broken bones”.
He went on to be one of the Tigers’ best players and kicked the goal that broke Lavington’s back 14 minutes into third quarter, which put them 27 points clear.
It was former Dederang-Mt Beauty speedster’s second flag with the Tigers after successfully making the step up from the Tallangatta and District league last season.
“To get to the last game and not play would be disappointing,” Powell said.
“There was one stage there when I got the results back, a few people at the club were saying it was all over for the year with that sort of injury.
“I thought I can’t give up on the year yet, I’ve worked pretty bloody hard.
“It was a little roll of the dice.
“I was only in on Saturday morning, it was a late call, I had a fitness test and got through. It’s all credit to the fitness staff at the club, they just got me up.
“It’s feels great, it doesn’t get any better than this.
“I’ll enjoy this one.”
While Powell was celebrating his second flag, Albury co-coach Daniel Maher was one of five Tigers on the day to become six-time premiership players.
Maher, Chris Hyde, Joel Mackie, Luke Packer and Michael Thompson joined Matt Fowler in rarefied air at Tigerland.
“There’s a few of us that have won six now and it’s great to do it with those guys,” he said.
“It’s something we’ll look back on in years to come.
“It’s special but it’s just as great to do it with guys like Daniel Cross, Josh Mellington and Simon Thomas, who have come to the club this year.”
Sunday’s match was Maher’s last in charge of the Tigers after five years at the helm.