NTFL. All three Van Diemen’s Land Smithton Saints teams have secured a place in the NTFL finals.
Despite losing to undefeated ladder-leader Latrobe by 60 points, the seniors finished fourth, locking in a finals berth.
Latrobe were on fire early, kicking six goals into the breeze and taking a 19-point lead into quarter time.
In comparison Smithton failed to score into the wind and Latrobe increased their lead to 43 points at the half-time break.
The third quarter was better for the Saints as they piled on three goals, while holding Latrobe to just one point, cutting the lead back to 26. It was a case of too little, too late for the Saints as the Demons romped home in the final quarter with some classy passages of play.
Matt Elliott and Scott Bryan kicked two goals each for the Saints while Aaron Tuxworth, Guy Kearnes and Bon Radford were named in the best.
The reserves recorded their eighth win of the season against second on the ladder Latrobe who have won 13 out of their 20 matches.
The Saints dominated the match, and with a 17-point lead at half time, went into the second half looking to extend their lead.
The third quarter saw them blow out the margin to 44 points and they went into the final quarter with a comfortable lead.
The fourth quarter however, saw Latrobe fight back, kicking 17 points and keeping the Saints scoreless for the quarter.
Their fight back wasn’t enough however, and the Saints became victors by 27 points, 11.6 (72) to 6.9 (45).
Rhys Morrison kicked three goals while Zach Bransden and Kalem Townsend kicked two each for the Saints.
In the U19s the Saints lost to Latrobe by 27 points.
The Saints lead at the first break but for the remainder of the match they weren’t able to capitalize and Latrobe ran away with the victory.
David Blake, Cameron Gillies, Benjamin Dawson and Jacob Willie were the only goal kickers for the Saints with one goal apiece. Connor Hickey, David Tuxworth and Aaron Hine were named in the best.
The Smithton Saints will play their semi final matches at Ulverstone on Sunday.
Seniors 2pm: Smithton v Ulverstone
Reserves 11.50am: Smithton v Ulverstone
u19s 9.40am: Smithton v East Devonport