Sec­ond win for Saints

McIvor Times - - SPORTS - By DAR­REN LEWIS

HEATH­COTE stormed to its sec­ond win of the Heath­cote and District Foot­ball League sea­son with a 22-point vic­tory over bot­tom side El­more on Satur­day.

Trav­el­ling to El­more the club was con­fi­dent of reg­is­ter­ing the vic­tory against the win­less Bloods but coach Luke Bell and his play­ers knew it would be still a dan­ger­ous match

Af­ter a foggy morn­ing, the El­more ground was bathed in sun­shine when the team ran onto the ground.

From the first bounce the Saints dom­i­nated pro­ceed­ings, helped in no small way by the dom­i­nance of big man Dan Rus­sell.

His high leap­ing and abil­ity to get his hand on the footy first at the cen­tre bounces and around the ground gave the Saints on-ballers first use of the ball.

Skip­per Jake Con­don was at his bustling and dash­ing best and the ball was driven into the for­ward line with rel­a­tive ease.

With Bray­den Klemke en­joy­ing the free­dom of play­ing up the ground and with his fel­low for­wards get­ting plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties, the Saints slammed on 6.4.

Un­like pre­vi­ous weeks, the ball was de­liv­ered into the for­ward line with more pur­pose and in ar­eas more likely to con­vert a goal.

It looked to be more of the same in the sec­ond quar­ter as Rus­sell once again con­trolled the rucks and Jake Con­don was forc­ing the ball for­ward.

With Darcy McLean en­joy­ing the space of the El­more ground and us­ing his pace to great effect, the Saints were once again dom­i­nat­ing.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween the first and sec­ond quar­ter was the way in which the ball was driven into the 50m area.

With more shots kicked from the pock­ets and flanks, con­ver­sion be­came dif­fi­cult.

In a frus­trat­ing quar­ter for the spec­ta­tors and the coach­ing staff, the Saints squan­dered a dom­i­nant quar­ter by kick­ing 10 straight be­hinds.

There was no panic in the camp as the play­ers walked into the rooms at half-time, but the match should have been out of the Bloods reach.

El­more play­ers be­gan to get their hands on the ball more in the third term and the Heath­cote de­fence was un­der more pres­sure.

Marc Millard’s ex­pe­ri­ence and calm un­der pres­sure was a key fac­tor in the Saints re­strict­ing El­more to four goals in the third term.

Nathan Bake put his body on the line on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions and his un­com­pro­mis­ing at­tack on the ball swept aside sev­eral El­more at­tacks.

The frus­tra­tion con­tin­ued in the early stages of the third term as the Saints kicked more be­hinds, the se­quence of 12 straight mi­nor scores bro­ken by a goal from Alex McIvor.

McIvor was pro­vid­ing his team­mates with a fo­cal point as he led out on ev­ery oc­ca­sion.

Hold­ing a five-goal lead at the fi­nal term the Saints looked to have done enough but El­more had made a num­ber of changes and they came out hard.

From the first bounce, the Bloods took the ball and drove it deep for a goal. They con­tin­ued to drive the ball for­ward and soon they had re­duced the mar­gin to a kick and the game was in the bal­ance.

The Saints stead­ied to kick a goal and then draw away from the Bloods.

When the siren blew the Saints had recorded their sec­ond win for the sea­son and a great way to en­ter the club bye next week.

With play­ers re­turn­ing from in­jury the team is look­ing for­ward to the sec­ond round matches.

In A grade net­ball, El­more proved too strong for Heath­cote win­ning 44-26.

Photo: Luke He­mer

Heath­cote’s Bradley Mor­gan takes a strong mark in fad­ing light late in the game against El­more on Satur­day.

Photo: Luke He­mer

Heath­cote’s Alex McIvor tack­les El­more’s Tyler Oliver as the lat­ter tries to hand­ball off while (right— the Bloods’ Danny Brew­ster points to where the mark is.

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