Saints no match for the Eagles
Mansfield 2.1 3.4 5.6 7.7-49
Benalla 3.1 6.2 6.3 7.5-47
Mansfield (Not supplied)
Benalla: Goal Kickers: C. Orchard 3, A. Walsh 2, T. Levy, J. Davies
Best Players: A. Cooke, J. Davies, A. Walsh, R. Wapling, B. Purcell, J. Walker
THIS week, we welcomed the Benalla Saints to the Mansfield Recreation Reserve for a round 15 clash that was going to be a tight affair, as we beat them by one point earlier in the season at their home deck and they would be fired up to go one better this time.
With overnight rain making the ground a bit wet the team that was prepared to be first to the ball and put their body on the line was going to go a long way to winning this game.
The first quarter was a very scrappy affair from our point of view with basic handling errors, very little talk and bad decisions with the ball gifting the opposition possession and scoreboard advantage.
The second quarter was a little better, with JJ and Muzz starting to get their share of the ball and driving it into our forward line, which was still not functioning with too many players moving into space and not leaving any room for Gus and Jim to lead into.
Despite the best efforts of the backline we were outscored for the quarter leading to Benalla having a handy 16 point lead at halftime.
With the ground drying out after halftime we had a crack in the second half with Archie getting on top in the ruck, JJ continuing his good form for the year with plenty of tackling and pressure on the opposition setting the tone for the rest of the team to follow.
Backs had a good quarter restricting Benalla to one point for the quarter through hard work from
Mitch on a couple of occasions when he denied Benalla certain scores on his own, with Colby and Trent doing their bit along with Corey.
With a better functioning forward set up we managed to outscore the opposition in the second half.
With the likes of Gus doing body work and bringing the ball to ground if he could not mark it for Connor, who had his best game for the year as a crumbing forward, putting plenty of pressure on the opposition backs through his tackling, and managed to snare himself three goals for the match.
Another kid who had a good end to the game was Fletch, who has shown us glimpses of what talent he has - whether as a forward or in the ruck - throughout the year.
In the last quarter with about six minutes to go in the game, Fletch had a good lead up contested mark and kick into the forward line that resulted in the goal that sealed the match for us, with a two point winning margin this time.
Huey also had a better game, with a couple of tackles and also nearly kicked his first goal for the season.
With another must win game against Shepparton United next week at Deakin Reserve, we need to keep turning up to training and improving on our skills; who knows where we might end up at the end of the season.
QUICK: Colby Croxford-Demasi (above) just seconds away from being taken down by a Saint player and (LEFT) Jenson Curtin taps the ball out of the Saints’ players reach.