July 26, 2017

Berrigan onballer Lachie Pyle desperately lunges for the ball.

A brave fightback from Berrigan has seen them move one step closer to securing their spot in the Picola League finals, with a seven point win over Deni Rovers on Saturday.

In the battle of fifth against sixth, the Saints and Roos faced off in a finals like game in Berrigan, with the visitors keeping their nose in front throughout the round 15 clash.

The Rovers gained momentum in the third term, leading by 20 points at the last break and looking set to move their way into the top five.

Momentum swung back in the favour of the home side in the last, following two costly 50 metre penalties resulting in goals to Berrigan.

The win saw the Saints bridge a two win gap between themselves and the Roos with finals all but guaranteed.

Berrigan playing coach Lee Schmidt steered his side home with six goals in a best on ground effort, while Tom Beams continues to impress with his dangerous left boot.

Defender David Riddle thwarted many Rovers attacks and Mark McQualter was again solid in the midfield, snagging himself a great long range goal.

Tom Irvine used his agility around the ground to be named among the best and the ever consistent Jarren Osborn also performed well.

Tanner Robertson led the way for the Rovers, spending most his time in the middle and brothers Dylan and Andy May both had fantastic games once again.

Others who starred for the visitors were onballers Damian Hope, Rhys McCulloch and Mark Lamborn.

Final score, Berrigan 12.13 (85) to Deni Rovers 12.6 (78).

Rovers coach Nick Braybon said the loss was one of the most heartbreaking losses he’s been involved with at the club.

‘‘After the game the boys were gutted,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve played three bad quarters over the past month and it has cost us a few wins now.

‘‘We coughed up the game by making bad choices and having poor use of possession.’’

Braybon also praised the efforts of his opposition coach, saying he was one of the most talented footballers in the league.

‘‘The one bloke that we didn’t want having the ball in his hands was Lee Schmidt,’’ he said.

‘‘He was able to capitalise on his opportunities and kicked the last two goals of the game to win it.

‘‘A lot of our guys had strong games and we performed well for three quarters of footy, but it came unstuck in the last term.

‘‘Berrigan stood up when they needed to and at the end of the day they deserved the win.’’

The Saints will travel to Mathoura for their round 16 clash against the Timbercutters on Saturday.

With Berrigan only having two games left, it’s crucial for them to secure the win to keep their two game buffer from the Rovers.

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