GNL Women. Hosting ladder-leaders West Devonport Dragons was always going to be tough for the Rocky Cape Tavern Saints, who were beaten 7-0 on Saturday.
The Dragons didn’t disappoint in their on-field efforts, showing plenty of skill and pace all over the field.
Straight from the whistle, Smithton was under the pump with their opponents forcing five corners in the first few minutes.
But the Saints kept them at bay with Keeley Hinds, Mel Gray and Melissa Stokes – who stepped up from her local club – blocking all attempts.
Trying to get the ball out of defence was a huge task. All forwards were leading and trying to create a gap to break through, but the Dragons’ defence was too solid and getting into the Saints’ 25 was a major ask.
Although they dominated all over the field, it wasn’t until the 18th minute that the Saints allowed West Devonport to score.
They then managed to add three more before half time to take a 4-0 lead at the half-time break.
With plenty of encouragement to hold their heads high, Smithton continued to fight hard.
Laura Berechree was a welcome return at half back and ran hard with the support of Alex Mainwaring, Bek Lardner and Abbie Hite.
Sonia Poke and Connie Perry slotted back into their positions with ease and combined with Caicie Keogh, Emma Innes-Smith and Paige Ferguson to try and make a breakthrough.
A number of solid runs forward were stopped, but the Saints kept on pushing with Daria Reeve and Kylie Monson supporting all attempts on goal.
It wasn’t until late in the second half that the Dragons once again found the net, managing to then score twice more to take a 7-0 win at the final whistle.
In a hard-fought game by the whole Smithton team, best players were Sonia Poke, Bek Lardner and Alex Mainwaring.
This week, the Saints travel to Burnie to take on South Burnie in a must-win match if they want to keep their finals hopes alive.