Saints hang on in a nail-biter

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGIL­LIVRAY

South­ern Mallee Giants will en­ter a bye week ru­ing a missed op­por­tu­nity to shore up a top-five po­si­tion against Hor­sham Saints at the week­end.

In a low-scor­ing affair at Hor­sham’s Cough­lin Park, the Giants went down by three points to the Saints, los­ing 7.9 (51) to 7.6 (48).

The Giants had a five-point lead at the end of the first quar­ter, but the Saints re­claimed a three-point buf­fer by the half.

The sides were not sep­a­rated by more than two goals all day as the Saints held the lead en­ter­ing the fi­nal quar­ter.

In a hard-fought but sim­i­larly low scor­ing fi­nal quar­ter the Giants at­tempted to mount a come­back, with Sam White, Clint Bur­dett and coach Coleman Schache lead­ing the charge in the mid­field and Sam Wed­dell re­pelling the Saints in the back­line.

The Giants nar­rowed the mar­gin to within a goal but could not find the killer blow be­fore the fi­nal siren sounded.

Jarred Combe was a hero for the Saints with three vi­tal goals on a day when they were hard to come by, with Jacob O’beirne and Ol­lie Timms stand­outs in the mid­field.

The vic­tory keeps hopes of a fi­nals berth alive for the sixth-placed Saints, who now turn their at­ten­tion to­wards Dim­boola.

The Roos were hum­bled by Stawell on a day when their most fa­mous ex­port – AFL legend Tim Wat­son – re­turned to the club for the first time in years.

The War­riors kept Dim­boola goal­less in the open­ing term and had es­tab­lished a 36-point lead by half time be­fore run­ning out 14.14 (98) to 6.9 (45) vic­tors.

Stawell’s Tom Eckel was a stand­out with three goals, com­bin­ing with Cody Driscoll, who kicked four, to ex­ceed Dim­boola’s to­tal on their own.

Jack Walker and Jack­son Dark were also in the thick of the ac­tion for Stawell, while Dim­boola’s Matthew Rosier and El­liot Braith­waite were their team’s best.

Minyip-mur­toa and Ararat con­firmed their places as com­pe­ti­tion fron­trun­ners with wins against Nhill and Hor­sham re­spec­tively.

The close­ness of the Bur­ras’ 16.16 (112) to 13.11 (89) win over the Tigers was sur­pris­ing given they en­tered the round un­de­feated and the Tigers en­tered win­less.

Nhill trailed by a sin­gle point at three quar­ter time with mem­bers of its 1969 pre­mier­ship team look­ing on as part of 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

The Tigers were poised to cel­e­brate the un­like­li­est of wins af­ter outscor­ing the Bur­ras 5.5 to 3.2 in the third term, but the vis­i­tors fi­nally hit their straps in the last quar­ter to post a vic­tory.

Jae Mcgrath and Brad Inglis were the he­roes for the Bur­ras, kick­ing five goals each.

Drew Sch­nei­der was best afield for the Tigers as Frazer Driscoll and Stephen Craig, three goals each, led the team to its sec­ond high­est score of the sea­son.

Ararat sent a mes­sage to the rest of the com­pe­ti­tion and broke a 16-year hoodoo by downing reign­ing pre­mier Hor­sham 11.9 (75) to 8.8 (56) at Alexan­dra Oval.

A sec­ond-quar­ter flurry of six goals cracked the game open for the Rats, who had not beaten Hor­sham since 2003.

Ararat’s Dy­lan Shel­ley and Ben Free com­bined to hit the score­board with three goals apiece and tough in-an­dun­der mid­fielder Nick Men­des found plenty of the ball.

Jor­dyn Burke and coach Deek Roberts fin­ished with two goals apiece and Rhona Con­boy pre­sented well, but Hor­sham’s scor­ing woes con­tin­ued.

The Demons, last sea­son’s high­est-scor­ing team, have kicked more than 10 goals in a game only twice in 2019.

Hor­sham will need to re­group ahead of a match against a fresh War­rack Ea­gles out­fit on Satur­day.

Nhill will meet Stawell at Cen­tral Park and Minyip-mur­toa will host Ararat in a top of the lad­der showdown.

ON THE BOOT: Hor­sham Saint Ol­lie Timms gets a kick away as a pack of South­ern Mallee Giants play­ers pur­sue him. Timms was one of the Saints’ best in a three­p­oint win. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.