A hard-fought game saw the Southern Saints go down by 8-points in wet and wild conditions against Geelong in their round 3 clash on Saturday at Deakin University.
Despite the wet weather, there was excitement amongst the Saints with some debutants — Anna Harris and Madi Southam — and the opportunity to bounce back after a loss last week.
The first quarter started with Geelong applying the early pressure, as they worked with a strong breeze behind their backs.
The Saints defense was resolute, applying strong tackles and pressure.
Southam started her first game nicely, as she worked up and down the ground from half forward and tackled well.
The Geelong forward pressure eventually paid off, as a brilliant kick off the ground from Claudia Gunjaca led to the first goal of the game to give Geelong an 8-point lead going into quarter time.
The second quarter gave the Saints the chance to work with the breeze, and they were able to capitalise early, as a quick kick forward allowed Val Moreau to run into goal and finish cleverly.
The game became a contested affair with neither side gaining control in the wet and slippery conditions.
Nadia Von Bertouch showed her class from halfback repelling multiple Geelong attacks and taking numerous intercept marks.
Both sides struggled to score, and the teams went into the main break separated by only 2-points.
The coach's message was to “continue to apply defensive pressure across the ground” and “stay on your feet.”
The third quarter started scrappily, as goals proved hard to come by in the wet conditions.
Geelong again applied pressure with the wind, but Tara Bohanna and the Saints defense continued to position themselves well and stifled multiple attacks.
Alexandra Hynes and Hannah Stuart worked tirelessly in the midfield trying to move the ball forward, but again both teams failed to find any majors, as Geelong held a 1-point lead going into the final term.
The fourth quarter began with the game on a knife’s edge as a goal either way would probably decide it.
And it was Geelong who found the breakthrough, with a kick forward getting out the back and captain Michelle Fidele kicking a goal that made the margin 8-points.
The Saints worked hard to fight back, but they ran out of time, and Geelong ran away with the hard-fought victory.
The Saints now move to one win and two losses to start the season.
Round 4 will see the Southern Saints travel to Casey Fields, where they play the Casey Demons at 10:30am on Sunday, March 21st.
Southern Saints: 0.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 (8)
Geelong: 1.3 1.3 1.3 2.4 (16)
Best: Von Bertouch, Hynes, Bohanna, Stuart, Brown, Ripari
Written by Will Michael - Sandringham Football Club Media