Sport

Back in top four

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July 14, 2017

Benalla Saints playing coach Luke Morgan gets a handball away in the nick of time as two Mooroopna players converge on him.

The Saints are back in the top four after getting a much-needed home win over the Mooroopna Cats.

Benalla’s side in the Goulburn Valley Football League has returned to winning ways after losing two matches on the trot in rounds 10 and 11 to Kyabram and Euroa.

The scoreboard was not as convincing as when the two sides last met in the first round of the season.

In that match the Saints doubled the Cats’ score, beating them 122-60 at their own ground.

Young talent Wade King was also called up into the first team for his debut after a number of weeks impressing at reserves level.

Saints head coach Luke Morgan said winning matches at this point in the season was crucial for a ‘‘good finals run.’’

‘‘We’re progressing well, it’s an important six weeks coming up in terms of the race to finals,’’ Morgan said.

‘‘For us it’s about getting enough wins to play finals, and also to position ourselves in the higher-rank seeds.’’

Now with six matches remaining, to reach Morgan’s start of the year goal of winning 12 or 13 matches in the regular season, the Saints must win at least two-thirds of their remaining matches.

That run starts on Saturday against seventh-placed Echuca Bombers away at Victoria Park.

Last time the two sides met was in round two this year at the Benalla Showgrounds, when the Saints won by 27 points.

But Morgan said the match would not be a walkover by any means.

‘‘Echuca played well and actually beat Euroa on the weekend, so they’re in good form,’’ Morgan said.

‘‘We need to go across and get the win. We know some of their strengths from when we played them earlier in the season — they have a good team with classy players, so we need to play our best footy.’’

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