Sport

Saints get second chance at the big dance

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August 03, 2017

Saints player Hayley Martiniello attempts to get away from a scrum of Bendigo Thunder players during semi-final two of the Northern Country Women’s League.

Benalla Saints’ women’s team has a second chance to qualify for next week’s grand final after losing to Bendigo Thunder on Sunday.

The Saints face a cut-throat final against Shepparton Bears this Sunday at the Benalla Showgrounds.

The girls are fighting for their season after falling to ladder-leaders Bendigo Thunder by 83 points in the second semi-final of the Northern Country Women’s League in Bendigo.

But a win over the Bears this weekend will see the Saints get another crack at the Thunder in the competition’s grand final.

On Sunday the Saints were no match for the Thunder, who controlled the match from the first bounce.

Leading by 23 points at quarter-time, the Thunder increased their lead at every break to win by a convincing 83 points.

The Saints scored their only goal in the final quarter, but to the side’s credit, never gave in.

Fiona Powles, playing in the ruck and defence, was Benalla’s best player, while Kylie Relf, Hayley Martiniello, Elly Ploegmakers, Mickayla Walker, Jayde Burden, Gorgia Spinks and Jen Fowler battled hard throughout the match.

Ruby Boyd played her best game for the season, laying a series of great tackles and playing a role in the Saints’ only goal.

Co-coaches Darren Skelton and Luke Morgan were pleased with the side’s effort after quarter-time.

Sunday’s do-or-die elimination final against Shepparton Bears, who defeated Echuca in a close match, starts at 1pm.

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