Blues see off Saints

Geraldton Guardian - - Football - Francesca Mann

Rail­ways have ad­vanced to the re­serves’ 2017 Great North­ern Foot­ball League grand fi­nal af­ter de­feat­ing Mullewa 15.11 (101) to 8.4 (52) in Sun­day’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

De­spite lead­ing the en­tire game, Blues coach Il­lia Bat­tistessa said the Saints put up a fight.

“I was on-edge the whole game,” he said.

“They’ve beaten us the last cou­ple of times we’ve met and they cer­tainly didn’t give up un­til the last siren.

“It’s fi­nals and if you start drop­ping it, they can score very quickly.”

Bat­tistessa said the play­ers stood up to the chal­lenge, and made spe­cial men­tion of Blake Stan­ton, Jar­rod Rod­ney and Todd Aldrick.

Al­though Mullewa’s sea­son is now over, the Saints had a spec­tac­u­lar come­back af­ter plac­ing sixth in 2016.

This sea­son was Dar­ren Ryan’s first time coach­ing the Saints and he said he was proud of his team.

“I was pretty pleased with how they went to­day,” he said.

“There was no-one on the bench to help out and they kept on go­ing.

“They never gave up. They kept on run­ning out ev­ery quar­ter. “That’s what I liked about it.” David Wal­lan, Roland Simp­son, Court­ney Ry­der and Leon Galby were stand-out play­ers on the field for the Saints.

Rail­ways will go head-to-head with Rovers this Sun­day in the grand fi­nal.

“We’ve got a few things to work on be­fore next week,” Bat­tistessa said.

“We owe Rovers one. They’ll have a good team.

“But if we stick to how we play and have the play­ers avail­able, it’s go­ing to be a very good game.”

Mullewa’s Les Cur­ley climbs above a pack for a mark­ing at­tempt.

Mullewa’s Court­ney Ry­der and Rail­ways’ Chris Gil­le­land do bat­tle.

Pic­tures: Arc­tic Moon Pho­tog­ra­phy

Rail­ways’ Paul Wor­thing­ton marks.

Mullewa’s Clarence Merry tack­les Rail­ways’ Robert El­liott.

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