GVL ǀ Gallery ǀ Tigers too strong for Saints

Try and stop me: Benalla’s Jack Doidge on the charge. Photo by Bruce Povey

Benalla’s A-grade netball and senior football sides suffered losses to Rochester in round five of the Goulburn Valley League at the weekend, but positive signs abound for the Saints.

The power and speed of Rochester was too much for the Saints seniors last Saturday, the Tigers running away with an emphatic 21.18 (144) to 2.2 (14) triumph at Benalla Showgrounds.

A four-goal-to-one first term was enough for the Tigers to stamp their authority on the match, although the Saints stayed in the fight until the half, keeping the visitors to a goalless second quarter.

It was all Rochester from there; Mitch Cricelli spearheading the scoring with four majors, while Izaac Johnson, Jordan Harper and Nathan Kay snared three each.

Pressure on: Rochester’s Mitch Cricelli tackles Will Martiniello. Photo by Bruce Povey

Skipper Steven Stroobants and Sean Williams kept the scoreboard ticking over with two apiece.

On a positive note for Benalla, midfield maestro Christopher Welsh went about his work as always in the Saints’ engine room, with Jake Pallpratt, William Martiniello, Aden Macdonald and Zachary Amarant also putting in a shift.

Jack Frampton and Aaron Cooke were the scorers for the Saints.

The 130-point away win marks Rochester’s third straight victory which has the Tigers cruising in second after five rounds.

Safe hands: Rochester’s Nick O’Connor strong mark. Photo by Bruce Povey

Benalla’s under 18s charges produced a resilient performance against Rochester, going down 14.10 (94) to 6.8 (44).

An undermanned Saints side started slowly, but fought back in the third term to boot four majors, before finishing strongly to win the final quarter.

Forward ace Tom Riley slammed home three goals, while best-on-ground Charlie Burfield was a key contributor for his side.

Breaking free: Will Martiniello rides a challenge. Photo by Bruce Povey

In netball action, Benalla’s winning streak has come to an end despite a hard-fought performance, the Saints losing out to Rochester 48-34 last Saturday.

A shining light for the club was the performance of the Saints’ women’s football outfit, which kept Tatura scoreless with a convincing 87-point victory in Northern Country Women’s League at the weekend.

Kelsie Piscioneri had a day out in front of goal, booting five goals, with seven different Saints managing to hit the scoreboard.

Emma Layfield was everywhere on the day, earning best-on for her efforts.

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Nowhere to go: Rochester’s Shaun Atley tackles James Martiniello. Photo by Bruce Povey