It was a great weekend of football and netball for the Trentham Saints with all four of their sides playing in preliminary finals winning their way through to next week’s Grand Finals.
The Reserves are through to their first Grand Final since 2011 after a hard-fought victory over Avoca and will now face off against powerhouse Carisbrook.
The first quarter saw the Trentham start well with veteran Ali Thompson kicking the first two as the Saints dominated early. To Avoca’s credit they were able to stem the flow and boot the next three to take a seven point lead into the first change. The second quarter saw a true finals battle as both sides threw themselves at the contest, pressure acts were through the roof and goals hard to come by, with both sides kicking two apiece, the Bulldogs by one straight kick at half time. A good old-fashioned spray at half time saw the Saints respond and start to get on top in the middle with James Gray’s in and under work inspirational, they dominated the inside 50s but struggled to convert, kicking two goals five behinds to Avoca’s two straight, seeing them hang onto the lead by a point at three quarter time. With a Grand Final berth on the line the team finally gelled, rising to the challenge, none more so than skipper Josh Murphy, kicking two and having a hand in two others in a match winning term, as the Saints stormed home to win by four goals.
U/17.5s took on Newstead in what was always going to be a tough contest. The Saints were on top early but didn’t capitalize on the scoreboard, kicking one goal five behinds for the term while keeping the Roos scoreless. The Steaders lifted in the second term, applying a lot more pressure, to kick two goals to the Saints one, and narrow the gap to seven points at half-time. The Saints got back on top in the third term dominating around the ground and kicking three unanswered goals, but a late goal to the Steaders saw them go into the last term 21 points down. Newstead threw everything at the Saints in the last term, kicking two goals to Trentham’s one point, but the defence of the Saints held firm and they got home by 10 points, earning the right to defend their title. Eli Kinnell, Ben Cass amd Zach Kupsch were among the best.
A Grade girls undefeated season continued with a hard-earned victory over Harcourt. The Saints started well jumping out to an early lead and holding a handy six goal break at quarter time. Harcourt lifted in the second term, throwing everything they had the experienced Saints, but the Saints stayed calm in the heat of the battle, with two late goals keeping the margin at six at half time. Harcourt was unable to maintain the rage and the Saints outscored them in the third and fourth quarters to win 54 to 41 in an even team performance with everyone contributing. The Saints, under coach Erin Richardson, now have the chance to go back to back.
B Grade girls also took on Harcourt and caused one of the boil overs of the weekend, hanging on to win a real nail biter by one goal, to make it through to the Grand Final from fourth on the ladder. After leading comfortably early the Saints had their lead whittled away by a determined Lions outfit, with scores level at three-quarter time. In a thrilling last term that went goal for goal, and with scores level, Saints shooter Elly Rose was awarded a penalty shot as the siren sounded. Allowed to take her shot she calmly slotted it home, sending the Saints fans wild, and booking her side a shot at ultimate glory next week.