Hard-fought draw for Saints

GNL men. The Rocky Cape Tavern Smithton Saints forced a gutsy 4-4 draw against City Marians last Saturday.

In the opening minutes of the match the Saints found themselves having to play tight defensive hockey in an effort to keep the City forwards off the score sheet, but after a series of penalty corners the opposition took an early 1-0 lead. After the re-start the Saints worked hard to transfer the ball into the forward line, and despite several good attacking runs, beating the opposition defenders proved too hard.

City continued to play relentless attacking hockey and had the Smithton defenders scrambling to keep up. The pressure proved too much for the Saints and by the end of the half City held a 3-0 lead after scoring a field goal and converting a penalty stroke.

At half time the Saints regrouped and faced up to the substantial task of getting back into the game.

Initially the Saints had to soak up a prolonged period of attack from City, and it took a massive defensive effort to keep the opposition forwards shut down. After a successful quick play, Anthony Locket slipped a neat pass into the circle to Jacob Thrower who tomahawked the ball low into the net and made it 3-1. This goal gave the Saints a huge confidence boost, which proved decisive, as over the next 15 minutes they completely dominated the game. Locket scored two goals in quick succession, firstly with a fiercely struck chip-shot that flew high into the net, followed up when he battered the ball into the goal after Kris Birtwistle forced a pass into the circle. The game then went into overdrive as both sides fought furiously to control the game and there was action right across the ground. City struck back with a penalty corner conversion, and then took a 4-3 lead.

Late in the match the Saints’ persistence paid off when Bill Jenkins quickly hammered a long ball into the forward line and after a set of connecting passes Rhys Burgess slapped the ball into the goals to make it 4-4, giving Smithton a fighting draw.

This Saturday the Saints play against South Burnie at McKenna Park in Burnie.

Goals: Anthony Lockett 2, Jacob Thrower, Rhys Burgess
Best: Anthony Lockett, Jason House, Jacob Thrower

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