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