August 28, 2017
Just three points over two weeks have put to an end an exciting season for the South Burnett Saints in the Darling Downs AFL competition.
After sitting at the number two spot on the ladder for several weeks, the Saints’ one point loss to the South Toowoomba Bombers in the last round of the competition pushed them down to third spot.
It also pushed them out of the Qualifying Final (1st v 2nd) into the sudden-death Elimination Final (3rd v 4th).
The Elimination Final against the Goondiwindi Hawks was played on Saturday before a large crowd at Lyle Vidler Oval in Kingaroy.
The Saints and Gundy have been rivals all season, with the Hawks defeating them by 68 points in Round 10, only for the South Burnett to come out on top a few weeks later by almost the same margin.
The Saints started strongly on Saturday, kicking the first two goals and looking like they had the measure of their visitors.
The Saints were 10 points ahead at the first change, 6.1 (37) to 4.3 (27), and still had their noses in the lead at half-time although the gap now was just four points.
But Goondiwindi put in a winning effort in the third quarter, kicking four goals and five behinds and restricting the South Burnett’s attackers.
Going into the last quarter, the scores were Hawks 11.11 (77) to the Saints 10.8 (68).
The last term was played at a frantic pace with both teams peppering the goals.
When the final siren sounded, the scores could not have been closer: 16.12 (108) to 16.10 (106).
Unfortunately for the home fans, the Saints were on the wrong side of the two-point deficit, and out of the competition for 2017.
Saints’ goal kickers were Mitchell Francis (5), Joseph Amery (3), Nathan Trace (3), Kieran Askin (3), Jordan Pressnell and Keegan Wright.
The Saints’ women’s team was also in action at Lyle Vidler Oval on Saturday, playing in the Elimination Final against the South Toowoomba Bombers.
The Saints finished in fourth spot on the table, earning them the right to compete in their first-ever finals game.
The Saints’ Women last faced the Bombers on August 12 in a close contest where the Saints were ahead at half-time but were defeated in the last quarter.
This time around the South Burnett women didn’t give the Bombers many opportunities to score, running away with the game 12.13 (85) to 2.2 (14).
Saints’ goals were kicked by Holly Ludke (3), Jenille Pasfield (2), Marika Burrows (2), Kayla Smith (2), Toni Kemlo, Tameka Swifte and Laura Cocks.
The South Burnett women have now earned a spot in the Preliminary Final against the Dalby Swans which will be played on September 2 at Rockville Oval in Toowoomba. The winner of this game will go through to the Grand Final against the Toowoomba Tigers.
The Saints’ club presentation evening will be held at the Carrollee Hotel in Kingaroy on September 16. RSVP to [email protected]