Bolton and Baker ready to shine on preliminary final stage

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldGreat Southern Herald
Shai Bolton takes a moment at training this week.
Camera IconShai Bolton takes a moment at training this week. Credit: Getty Images

Katanning-born Shai Bolton is set to play a big part for Richmond in tomorrow night’s preliminary final after starring in their 31-point win over St Kilda in last Friday’s semifinal.

Bolton has been a terrific contributor for the Tigers this season as they prepare to play in a fourth straight preliminary final.

He produced a first-half masterclass up forward and finished with three goals from 11 disposals to help the Tigers go deep into another finals series.

As a result, Bolton received four votes in the Gary Ayres Award for the best player of the finals, voted on by the AFL coaches.

The defending premiers will now face Port Adelaide in the cutthroat preliminary final at Adelaide Oval as they chase a third grand final appearance in four years. Bolton had four score involvements and 281m gained in another dazzling display last week in the semifinal and he looms as a vital part of the Tigers midfield and forward line against the Power.

Pingaring’s Liam Baker joined Bolton in the best players after his strong display across half-back in the victory.

Liam Baker.
Camera IconLiam Baker. Credit: AFL Photos via Getty Images

Baker played juniors with Lake Grace-Pingrup and was part of the Tigers premiership team last year alongside Bolton.

In the win over the Saints, Baker collected 19 disposals, eight of which were contested, to go with six marks and six intercepts.

The 22-year-old has played 18 matches for the Tigers this season and continues to evolve in his defensive role.

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