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GVL ǀ Gallery ǀ Sainters go back-to-back, big wins across the board for Benalla

In the thick of it: James Martiniello finds a way through a swarm of Bears players. Photo by Brenden Paddock

Fresh off a memorable first Goulburn Valley League win over Shepparton Swans last week, Benalla notched back-to-back victories with a thrilling six-point triumph over Shepparton on Saturday.

Although Williamstown ruckman Tom Downie departed after a cameo appearance last week, Benalla welcomed back Brody Webster after recovering from a knock he suffered back in round one; the Saints gun making his presence felt down forward in his return.

Under pressure: Benalla’s Adam Walsh tries to find a way around Shepparton’s Tyler Larkin. Photo by Brenden Paddock

An arm-wrestle from start to finish, the hosts were well and truly in the contest throughout, entering the main break just three points down.

The Bears would have pulled ahead in the second half but for some wayward third-quarter shooting, kicking six behinds and failing to find the big sticks.

Spearhead Jordan Wolff kicked four to lead the Saints scoring chart, while Christopher Welsh was in everything for his side, adding another best-on accolade to his collection.

On the move: Benalla’s Kieran Linke darts forward. Photo by Brenden Paddock

Benalla’s reserves outfit got the good times rolling on Saturday, securing its first win of the season over Shepparton 20.18 (138) to 4.3 (27).

A four-goal to one first term had the hosts in the drivers seat from first bounce, grinding the Bears down for the remainder to pile on 20 goals at the full-time siren.

Dan Cooke produced a stand-out performance along with Dylan Pastuszka and Daniel Symes.

Hunting it: Chloe Morris looks to gather the loose ball.

Adam Cole was very much on target with four snags to add to his tally, while Cameron Symes, Andy Polwarth and Shayne McKean kept the scoreboard ticking over with three apiece.

In under-18s action, the Saints battled hard but couldn’t match an energetic Bears side, going down 14.13 (97) to 8.5 (53).

Safe hands: Benalla’s Kelsey Pallpratt spins and looks for a pass. Photo by Brenden Paddock

Jakob Decker, Charlie Burfield and Tom Riley continued their solid seasons with strong performances, with Ryley Ely a particular stand-out, making the step-up from under-17s Giants to get among best-on.

Max Cullen, Flynn Weeks and Hamish Willett also gave a good account for themselves in stepping up from the Giants.

Finding a way through: Benalla’s Sally Washfold searches for a way around her opponent. Photo by Brenden Paddock

Meanwhile, Benalla’s women’s side notched a huge win in Northern Country Women’s League, overcoming Tatura 9.9 (63) to 1.0 (6).

Kelsie Piscioneri, Nicole Donald and Emily Sims all put in a shift for the Saints to clinch their third win of the campaign.

With just two rounds remaining, the Saints sit firmly in third spot.

Netball scores for the Goulburn Valley League matches between Benalla and Shepparton are yet to be officially recorded across all grades.

Give me an option: Kelsey Pallpratt searches for a pass into the attacking ring. Photo by Brenden Paddock
Going nowhere: A Bulldogs player gets caught in the NCWL clash between Benalla and Tatura. Photo: Meredith Tolliday.