Saints slip to sixth

July 12, 2017

Lochie Schifferle takes a strong mark against Blighty on Saturday.

A depleted Blighty side edged out Berrigan in a nine-point thriller in Berrigan on Saturday.

With the Redeyes missing co-captain Kyel Bain, onballer Josh Peers and key defender Cody Jordan, the Saints came out firing kicking four goals to one with the wind behind them in the first term.

Blighty made full use of the breeze in the second stanza kicking 5.2 to 1.2 to be in front by one point at half time.

The Redeyes led by 14 points at three quarter time before a late charge from the Saints saw them get to within two points in the last term.

But Blighty managed to hold on after ruckman Gilbert McKinnon, who was one of his side’s best, hit the contest hard, kicking the ball forward to Charlie Simpson late in the match.

Kicking from about 40m out on a slight angle in the windy conditions, Simpson made no mistake, sealing the game for the Redeyes with a clutch goal.

Jed Brain was instrumental for the Redeyes with four goals from the midfield, while Berrigan playing coach Lee Schmidt led the way for his side with three goals.

Brett Macdonald was a clear best on ground, playing an important role at centre half forward with onballer James Kennedy and small forward Brett Napier also among the best for Blighty.

For the home side, debutant Tom Beams, Jake Way, Trent Osborne and Lachlan Pyle all featured prominently.

Blighty dropped to third despite the success, with Strathmerton having a higher percentage, while Berrigan slipped to sixth.

Final score, Blighty 13.9 (87) to Berrigan 11.12 (78).

Blighty assistant coach Jack Tyndall said it was a tremendous effort for his side to rally late.

‘‘Berrigan always seem to match up with us pretty well and they were coming home strong in the last,’’ he said.

‘‘It was pleasing to see a few different blokes step up this week like Brett Macdonald and James Kennedy.

‘‘Macca (Macdonald) kept us in the game at centre half forward and Brett Napier played his best game for the year.

‘‘It was nice to kick more accurately at goal than our opponent for once as well.

‘‘We were probably a little bit lucky that Berrigan missed a few shots in the first half.’’

Tyndall also praised the efforts of those who stepped up to seniors this week following some unexpected changes to the side.

‘‘We had just one rotation for most of the match because Ben Littmann and Jarrod Andrews had already played a full game in the reserves,’’ he said.

‘‘We didn’t want to push them too hard so they spent the majority of the match on the bench.

‘‘Matt Barker played a pretty good game in defence for us, holding Tom Irvine to two goals.

‘‘Brad Robson came in after playing his first game in the reserves last week as well and gave it a good crack.’’

It was Berrigan who stood tall in the reserves, downing Blighty by 13 points in a low scoring match.

The Saints moved to fourth on the ladder with the scintillating win. Final score, Berrigan 6.2 (38) to Blighty 4.1 (25).

Berrigan’s Craig Glanvill was best afield, while his teammate James Ware was a rock down back to claim the coveted mug award.

Adam Fox was in all the action as usual for the Saints, as was ruckman Daniel Hustwayte who even scored himself a broken nose, and Steve Morgan and James Morrow rounded out the top players for the home side.

Stu Pyle was a revelation up forward to finish the day with three majors for Berrigan.

For the Redeyes, Beau Close and Mitch O’Brien both returned to the field for the first time this year and kicked two goals each to be the only goalscorers for the visitors.

Onballer Ryan Chadderton was Blighty’s best in his second game for the year with Ben Littmann and Jamie Shields continuing their good form.

Senior coach Daniel Kirchen had another strong game in the reserves and Harrison Close played his best game for the club to be named among the best.

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