SAINTS TRI­UMPH

McIvor Times - - SPORTS - By DAR­REN LEWIS

FI­NALLY.

“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.

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