Saints on the right track

Benalla Ensign - - Sport - By Fraser Walker-Pearce

A con­vinc­ing win on the week­end has seen the Be­nalla Saints take an­other step to­wards the fi­nals.

The 49-36 win over the Rochester Tigers saw the Saints rise to fourth with two games re­main­ing.

The home side led from start to fin­ish, only slow­ing in the third quar­ter, to go away with a 13-goal win.

Saints head coach Dy­lan Nex­hip said the win was set up by the side’s strong de­fence.

‘‘The girls dropped off in the sec­ond half but the nine­goal lead af­ter the first quar­ter held steady,’’ he said.

‘‘Ty­lah March­bank and Brid­get Hill kept the Saints on top, turn­ing over ball af­ter ball, keep­ing the Tigers to 15 goals at half-time, whilst Grace Thomas’ height proved an ad­van­tage in the goal cir­cle.’’

The Saints’ best play­ers for the day were skip­per March­bank, Thomas and goal keeper Brid­get Hill.

In the B-grade match, Be­nalla de­feated the Tigers by a con­vinc­ing 31 goals.

The 67-36 score­line came about af­ter strong per­for­mances from key play­ers Grace Warnock, Kelsey Pall­pratt and Abbey Nex­hip.

It was a hard-fought win against a phys­i­cal Tigers out­fit. The side started slowly, fin­ish­ing level with Rochester at the end of the first quar­ter.

Af­ter that, the side banded to­gether and lifted its in­ten­sity, pil­ing on 55 goals in the last three quar­ters.

In the B-re­serve match, the Saints could not match the re­sults of the A and B-grades, fall­ing to the Tigers by 30 goals.

The 17-47 re­sult was not down to a lack of ef­fort from Be­nalla’s best Elise Amarant, Ge­or­gia Thom­son and Abby Steegstra.

In the first half the side played well against an older, more ex­pe­ri­enced side and was four goals down at half-time.

Rochester was too strong in the end and came away from the show­grounds with the re­sult in the bag.

In the un­der-17s match, Be­nalla se­cured a 58-45 win over the Tigers.

The best play­ers for the Saints were Ge­or­gia Pryor, Shae Skel­ton and Kiera Mur­phy.

A fad­ing Rochester side, es­pe­cially in the third quar­ter, en­abled the girls to take away the 13-goal win.

Pic­ture: Karl Phillip­son

Hard at it: Brid­get Hill reaches to de­fend her Rochester op­po­nent in the A-grade side’s 13-point win on Satur­day.

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