“When the Saints go marching in’’ was sung with gusto on Saturday after Heathcote broke through for its first victory of the Heathcote and District Football League 2018 season.
From the first bounce against White Hills, the Saints were desperate and dominated the term but a poor return of 2.8 threatened to undermine the dominance.
Despite kicking with a three-goal wind the Saints were wasteful in front and as a result White Hills actually went in to the first break with a sevenpoint lead.
White Hills can thank their opponents for some undisciplined acts for two of its goals, and when the Demons kicked the first two goals in the next quarter the Saints’ inaccuracy looked to be costly.
Showing some strong resolve the boys rallied and despite kicking into a strong wind kicked three goals and then held out the Demons.
It would be hard for any Heathcote supporter not to get excited about the play in the third term because the Saints were brilliant.
White Hills was under pressure at every contest and when they had the ball in their hands the Saints ran hard and kicked deep into attack. Louis Piccolo proved elusive in this term, capping off his strong play with three goals.
In an outstanding defensive effort, the back six strangled the White Hills forward moves and restricted them to a solitary point for the quarter.
Tom Bourke shadowed White Hills star Gavin Bowles and shut him out of the game, a key factor in the victory.
Although Heathcote led by four goals at the final break they knew that the strong wind was worth three or four goals. Once again it would be the Saints that came out to play and from the first bounce they continued to be desperate at every contest.
Skipper Jake Condon was once again in everything and his form in recent weeks has been outstanding as he tries to get his team over the line.
In the end the Saints withstood a number of Demons forward thrusts and then steadied to outscore them and run away comfortable winners.
It was truly a four-quarter effort and the margin could well have been greater but for the ongoing problem of consistency in front of goals.
Coach Luke Bell and his panel can enjoy this game and with the bye this week — for the interleague game between the HDFNL and the Geelong and District FNL — they can look to get a full list on the track.
Ben Connelly’s aerial work up forward and around the ground is proving invaluable to his team.
Kyle Seidel was back to his bullocking best, brushing aside White Hills opponents and opening up the packs for the Saints small men, and Tom Pain was once again busy all around the ground, with his pace and fine aerial work.
Heathcote's Ben Connelly takes another strong mark in a pack against White Hills on Saturday.