GNL. A 1-1 draw to City Marians has denied the Rocky Cape Tavern Smithton Saints’ men a chance to reclaim top spot on the ladder.
Meanwhile, a depleted women’s outfit was blown out of the water by their opposition, conceding five goals in the second half before rebounding slightly to suffer a 5-2 defeat.
The Saints travelled to Burnie on Saturday to face off against their fierce rivals, and with men’s keeper Jason Lynch away on national duties, Clinton Reid took up the job of protecting the net.
Reid was forced to make numerous saves early with City’s forwards relentless in the opening moments of the game, before Jarrad Poke and Joe Coombes settled the Saints from the backline and began transferring play to the forwards.
Young guns Eddie Popowski and Kade Wooldrage teamed up late in the first half to wrong-foot the City keeper, with Wooldrage putting the Saints ahead on the score board going in to half-time.
Despite controlling the run of play in the second half, Smithton were forced to regroup when the Marians’ offence eventually snuck one into the back of the net, with neither side able to take the upper hand for the remainder of the game.
With key player Leah House added to the unavailable list, the Saints’ women were again forced to call on four fill-ins in their mid-table clash.
Smithton performed strongly in the first half, passing well and transferring the ball with backs Bec Gould, Demi O’Halloran and Mel Hine shutting down City’s attacking players to keep the scores at 0-0 going into half-time.
City came out reinvigorated in the second half and scored five consecutive goals from running plays, catching the young Saints team off guard each time.
Despite the scoring barrage, Donna Porteus and Connie Perry were both able to find the back of the net before the final buzzer to somewhat cushion a disappointing defeat.
Sonia Poke played a great game to celebrate her 40th birthday, with Perry and Gould also named among the best. Gould plays her last game for the Saints next weekend after 14 years of hockey for the club.