Sport

SAINTS SURVIVE

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August 23, 2017

Tocumwal’s Paddy O'Brien sends the ball forward in their loss to Berrigan on Sunday. Photo courtesy Brittany Brain.

Berrigan were led to an inspired 25-point victory after Tom Irvine’s 10 goals helped his side knockout Tocumwal in Sunday’s elimination final at Yarroweyah.

The Bloods were as much as 37 points behind in the second term before bravely coming back within one point in the premiership quarter after keeping the Saints to just one goal.

However, the Saints kicked away again to sneak 19 points ahead, before a goal from Tocumwal forward Dylan Flanagan after the three-quarter-time siren brought Tocumwal back within three kicks.

It was a battle between the bookends during the sudden death affair with Bloods coach Sean Logie kicking five goals of his own, but Irvine’s 10th goal in the final term was enough to send the Bloods packing.

In a somewhat surprising result the Saints, who finished fifth and won two fewer games than the Bloods, prevailed for the first time in three attempts this season.

The ever consistent Jake Way was again strong through the midfield for Berrigan, teaming up well with Tom Beams who seemed to gather possessions at his own will.

Playing coach Lee Schmidt was as damaging as ever off a half back flank and continually steered the team goalward with Jarren Osborn again solid and the evergreen Jeremy Way repelling numerous attacks from centre half back.

For Tocumwal it was Paddy O’Brien, Zeke Flanagan, Stephen Patten and Jacob Hore all playing well in the disappointing loss.

Final score, Berrigan 16.8 (104) to Tocumwal 12.7 (79).

While field positions were even with both teams failing to get many inside 50s Berrigan made the break with two quick goals 10 minutes into the first quarter.

When they added another a few minutes later they had a handy 18-point lead.

The Bloods never gave in and Logie belted through an impressive left-foot snap to get the ball rolling.

Another goal soon after evened up the scoreboard with Toc. six points down at the first change.

The second quarter was a disaster for the Bloods with Berrigan able to find plenty of one on one space in their forward 50, with Tom Irvine dominating to kick four goals in a row to set up a 30 point lead for the Saints in the blink of an eye.

Berrigan had all the momentum and kicked three more for the quarter to take a 37-point lead into the main break.

In a wonderful fighting effort the Bloods tightened up and got on top around the stoppages and after dominating the third quarter play were rewarded on the scoreboard.

Logie again proved inspirational with two goals in as many minutes and when full-forward Dylan Flanagan booted a goal from the pocket after the siren the team gave themselves an opportunity with a five goal to one third term.

The Bloods slammed on the first two goals of the final quarter to snatch a one point lead as the supporters began to believe, but Berrigan led by Tom Irvine booted another three in succession to spoil any hope of a Tocumwal victory.

The Saints will come up against Blighty in Tocumwal on Sunday in a semi final, with the winner advancing to the preliminary final and the loser being knocked out of finals.

It will be the second year in a row that these two sides meet in a semi final, with Berrigan getting the better of the Redeyes by 13 points last year.

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