GNL. The Tall Timbers Smithton Saints women matched a strong opponent in round eight of the Greater Northern League on Saturday.
Following an uncontested four goal defeat from Queechy Penguins in round six, Smithton were keen to redeem themselves against the second placed squad in Launceston.
The Saints delivered a strong defensive game as goalkeeper Melissa Dodd and fullbacks Melissa Stokes and Jandi Smith interrupted the Penguins’ offence.
Sonia Poke and Abbey House were provided with offensive opportunities as Sh’Kea Poke, Emma Spinks and Lily Nibbs worked across the halfback line.
The scoreboard remained untouched at the first break before Smithton conceded one goal in the second term.
A fast break in the second half caught the Saints out of sorts as Queechy claimed a swift goal.
The side showed its strength in the fourth quarter, preventing the opposition from stretching the margin to finish 2-0.
The Smithton Saints men met with Tamar Churinga in a fast moving match.
The home side caught out the Smithton defence with an early offence before Sam Porteus-Smith earned and converted a penalty corner to add one goal apiece to the scoreboard at the first break.
Tamar proved its strength in the second term, adding another goal to the tally to enter the main break with the lead.
A tactical change at the start of the third quarter allowed Smithton’s midfield of Porteus-Smith and Logan Buckby to control the ball and provide offensive opportunities to Kade Wooldrage and Harry Lester in the forwardline. Porteus-Smith converted his second after a penalty stroke was awarded to the Saints.
With 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Thornton Bergman intercepted a pass to provide Wooldrage with the space to convert.
Goalkeeper Dylan Jago made several spectacular saves throughout the final term before a lapse in concentration from the fullbacks allowed the home side to convert with five minutes remaining.
In the final moments, Wooldrage led from the front to score and provide the Saints with the 3-4 victory.
The Smithton Saints women will host City Marians in round nine of the Greater Northern League on Saturday June 16 while the men host Burnie Baptist.