Saints keep finals dream alive

The Saints’ Nigel Kingston gives it his all at the weekend’s game against Devonport. Picture: Jodie Saville.

GNL men. The Rocky Cape Tavern Smithton Saints’ late season finals charge was kept alive with a big 4-1 win over Devonport last Saturday.

The opening minutes of the match were played at a furious pace with both sides playing end to end hockey in an effort to score an early goal. Unfortunately it was Devonport players who made the most of their chances, and they scored from close range to take an early 1-0 lead.

The Saints fought their way back into the match, but despite plenty of ball possession they struggled to successfully execute their attacking plays. For the remainder of the half, the game was fought out in the midfield, and neither side was able to take control of the run of play.

At the break the Saints re-grouped and re-energised and in the second half came out firing and proceeded to take complete control of the game with fierce attacking play and smothering defensive pressure.

Following a quick play of the ball into attack, the Saints forced a penalty corner, which was converted when Anthony Lockett sent a drag flick into the net to equalise the score line at 1-1. Soon after the restart, the Saints won back possession and again set about taking apart the opposition’s defence. This time Alexander Poke finished off play when he tapped in an easy goal to make it 2-1.

Devonport worked hard to get back into the game, and for a period of time they had the Smithton defenders scrambling to keep the opposition’s forwards at bay. Joe Coombs’ overhead passes out of defence started to blow the game wide open, and this allowed the home sides’ forwards to take advantage of the situation. The Saints’ good work in attack was rewarded with a penalty corner, and Coombs scored his maiden goal for the 2013 season from a variation play with a neat flick that went low into the goal and made it 3-1.

In the final minute of the game, the Saints scored again following a goal mouth scrimmage with Lockett knocking in the fourth and final goal.

On Saturday, the Saints play at 3.30pm at the Smithton Turf against South Launceston in a must win game to secure a finals berth.

Goals: Anthony Lockett 2, Joe Coombs, John Innes Smith.

Best: Joe Coombs, Anthony Lockett, John Innes-Smith.

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