July 13, 2020
The South Burnett Saints celebrated the rebirth of the 2020 AFL footie season at the weekend with two stunning victories in Kingaroy.
Cars lined Lyle Vidler Oval and socially distanced fans and family groups watched on as the South Burnett Saints’ women took to the field at 12:30pm, marking the return of team sport to the region after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Of course, things were different – individual water bottles, for instance – but the tackling and marking was just as keen as ever.
Four quarters later, the Saints’ women were given a heroes’ welcome back to the clubhouse after recording a stunning 10.11-71 to 1.6-12 victory over the Goondiwindi Hawks.
The Hawks only rejoined the women’s competition this year. They’ll now have eight more games, including two more match-ups against the South Burnett, to prove their mettle.
Goal kickers for the Saints were Brianna Pogany (6), Kayla Smith (2), Sandy Jacobson and Hayley Ellison.
There was another loud cheer when the Saints’ men took to the field at 2:30pm.
The team honoured the 100th match played by club president Daniel Clacy by getting him to run on to the oval through an honour guard and a specially prepared banner.
A sign on the oval fence also marked the occasion, the first time a Saints’ player has reached a century.
Two other Saints’ players – brothers Nathan and Daniel Trace – also enjoyed their 50th games by kicking a goal apiece.
The men’s team duplicated the women’s effort, leading the Dalby Swans at every change.
At half-time the Saints led 5.9-39 to 3.0-18 which had blown out to 11.16-82 to 7.6-48 at the final siren.
South Burnett goals were kicked by Mitchell Francis (3), James Packer (2), Nathan Trace, Robert Goodwin, Daniel Trace, Keegan Wright, Jordan Pressnell and Shaun Pukallus.
Next weekend, the Saints will be on the road with both the men’s and women’s teams taking on Toowoomba Tigers at Rockville Oval in Toowoomba.
[UPDATED with correction]