The Saints have beaten an in-form Collingwood by five points in a tight contested game at Victoria Park.
Photography: Anthony Vella
Collingwood VFLW hosted the Southern Saints this weekend at their home ground, the iconic Victoria Park.
There were many stand-out players for the Saints in their blitz against the Pies. Our goal kickers for the day were Abbey Tregellis and Kim Ebb. The disposal leader was Tessa Boyd, with 24 and five marks. Madi Capsalis and Winnie Laing were everywhere to help the team get over the line gathering 19 touches each, whilst Deanna Jolliffe and Charlotte Ryan had 16 disposals each to their names. Jolliffe's pressure was immense all game finishing with a game-high of 13 tackles.
The first quarter started fast, with the Saints eager to move the ball down to their forward half quickly, but stoppages in the middle of the ground kept their plans to a halt. Mel Bertuna, in her third game for the Saints this season, managed to get the ball movement flowing again by kicking to Lucy Burke, who was in space. The kick was called touched before Burke marked, leading her to play on under pressure and kicking the first minor of the game. Fortunately for the Saints, the kick out from full-back was turned over in our half by Ryan, who had a quick kick to the goal square where Tregellis was waiting to mark. Just as the ball came towards her, she was pushed in the back by her Collingwood opponent, giving her a free kick in front of goal, where she converted to score the first major of the day.
The Saints managed to keep Collingwood to two points, heading into quarter time with a five-point lead.
Collingwood was fired up in the second term, winning the first centre bounce and clearance with a kick to their half. Caitlin Matthews managed a quick pick-up and kicked to get the Saints out of danger, down to Laing, who was on the wing waiting for it to come out to her. The ball eventually saw itself over the line for a boundary throw-in. After some contested footy, the Saints' pressure was too much for the Pies, with Tregellis winning a free kick for her tackle. Unfortunately, the ball was turned over, and we returned to trying to win stoppages. Gaby De Angelis managed to take a mark from a smart kick by Jane Moore out of a clearance. Unselfishly, De Angelis gave the ball off to Laing, who was alone in front of goal. Her set shot was offline to the right, scoring another minor for the Saints.
The Saints managed to keep the ball in our half for most of the second term, but the Pies' defence was too strong for us as we failed to convert a goal. De Angelis had a snap on goal that missed to the right midway through.
The Saints kept Collingwood scoreless that term, holding their lead by eight points at halftime.
This was a game that both the Saints and Pies wanted to win, with neither team giving up their fight for the four points.
Once again, Collingwood came out firing at the first centre bounce, winning the hit-out and clearance. The Saints' backline was impressive, working to escape danger as they had been all day.
Again we managed to lock the ball into our half but still only managed to score minors. Burke had a set shot from 40 metres out that was touched on the line.
After more contested and stoppage-filled footy, the Saints finally managed to re-gain control of the football with Tayla Kearns kicking to the top of the goal square where Ebb was waiting when she took a strong mark and converted for her team.
Collingwood was kept to only scoring one point that quarter, with the Saints still holding a 14-point lead.
We started strong in the final quarter, winning the ball at the first bounce and most stoppages.
Jolliffe's defensive presence was elite, while Laing's run took her everywhere around the ground. Boyd, too, impressed with her clean hands and run and carry. De Angelis and Burke were also looking dangerous down forward, with clean uncontested possessions leading them to have shots on goal. Unfortunately, no one converted, leaving the ball in Collingwood's half. The Pies managed to lock the ball in and ultimately convert their first goal of the game. Building confidence from their first major, the Pies were looking hot, keeping the ball locked in where they wanted it and taking every shot to gain a few points on the Saints.
With the siren looming, the Saints stepped their defence up, keeping anything the Pies did to a halt. After a challenging contested game, the Southern Saints came away with a five point victory at Victoria Park.
Final Score: Southern Saints 2.6 (18) defeated Collingwood 1.7 (13)