Bloods challenge but Saints notch up win

COMMITTED: Koroit’s Tim Martin and Terang Mortlake’s Joel Crawley chase the ball on Saturday. Picture: Vicky HughsonKOROIT coach Adam Dowie says Saturday’s 17-point win over Terang Mortlake brought up more questions than answers for his side.
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The Saints prevailed 8.15 (63) to 6.10 (46) at Terang Recreation Reserve, but had to fight a lot harder for their second-up win than they did the week before.

The visitors hit the ground running in the first quarter, but wasted opportunities in front of goal saw them take only a small lead into quarter-time.

“We were probably a bit inaccurate and, as a result of that, Terang Mortlake wasn’t too far away, even though we dominated the first quarter,” Dowie said.

Buoyed by the first term, the Bloods threw everything into the contest in the second quarter, holding the Saints goalless and muscling their way into every contest.

They pushed numbers back to stifle the Saints’ scoring ability, and ran the ball well to create their own opportunities.

“Their pressure was really good, and why we were inaccurate in front of goal,” Dowie said.

“If scoreboard pressure is a factor, that team will stay with you all day.

“Once they were in the game, they were in it to stay.”

Koroit pulled away on the scoreboard again in the third term, slotting through five goals to one, but the pressure across the field did not let up.

The Saints looked to have the win in the bag in the last quarter, but Terang Mortlake made one last strong effort, kicking a couple of majors and holding Koroit goalless, cutting the margin back to three goals.

Marcus Darmody was best on ground for the reigning premiers for his role across halfback, but Dowie said Saints could also use the ex-VFL footballer in the forward line in future.

The Saints mentor said the Bloods were shaping as genuine contenders for the flag, and noted the game was the sort of challenge his side craved.

“I actually think they will be (a threat for the flag), I think if they can maintain what they did today …they will be quite optimistic about the future,” Dowie said.

“There’s probably more questions than answers (for us) out of today, but the guys found a way to win and everyone contributed when they had to.”

Terang Mortlake coach Paul Dirago said he was pleased with the attitude and effort his charges brought to their clash against the competition’s benchmark team.

“I really couldn’t be happier with the effort today,” he said.

“We started off really sloppy, they jumped us pretty early, but after the first quarter I felt like we were on top for most of the game.”

Dirago praised the efforts of “undersized” ruckmanJake Crawley,midfielder Tim McKenzie and Dylan Wareham, who had the job on Koroit star Isaac Templeton.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.