Saints march on

UP IN THE AIR: West Gambier's Charlie Carson and Millicent playing coach Tom Renzi contest a high ball. Picture: JAMES MURPHY

James Murphy

MILLICENT 13.6 (84) d WEST GAMBIER 6.9 (45)

THE Saint now sit a win clear on top of the Limestone Coast football premiership table after a good win over West Gambier on Saturday.

Millicent ventured down to Malseed Park for the Round 7 clash and walked away with a comfortable 39-point win.

Despite the margin, Saints’ coach Tom Renzi said it did not reflect the tough game which unfolded on the day.

“The scoreboard probably flattered us a little bit,” he said.

“It was a closer game for longer periods of time than what the scoreboard looks like.

“We played some good footy in patches, it wasn’t as consistent as we’d probably like, but that is probably me being a little bit picky as well.

“But it was pleasing overall.”

West was quick out of the gates and was able to take the lead in the first term.

At the change it held an eight-point lead, with three goals to Millicent’s two.

Although the Roos had the jump on them early, the Saints turned things around in the second quarter.

In what proved to be a pivotal stage in the game, Millicent piled on seven goals while conceding just one major and two behinds.

Suddenly the Saints held a 26-point lead heading into the main break – a lead they would not give up.

“They jumped us early and it took us a little bit to adapt to a few things,” Renzi said.

“To the boys’ credit they got on top of it and they figured it out and started to move the footy a bit better.

“We changed a few things around the stoppages which was important and then went from there.”

The third quarter was somewhat of a stalemate as both teams attempted to take control.

West managed to narrow the gap to 21 and would take merit from holding Millicent goalless for the term.

However, it was not enough to put victory within reach and the Saints added another four majors in the last to run away to the final scoreline.

Harry Tunkin was named best on ground for the winning side, putting in another strong performance in the midfield.

“He works his backside off and he has a really good footy brain,” Renzi said.

“He knows where he needs to put himself around the contest and he is really good for us.

“He is helping lead a few other people along the way as well.”

Joining Tunkin at the pointy end of the best players’ list were some other in-form Saints.

Billy Shanks, Frazer Bradley and Finn Grimes have all started the season well and continue to impress each week, much to Renzi’s delight.

“They are the group now who are really stepping up,” he said.

“Obviously we are a really young group, but they are the older boys in that group.

“It is pleasing to see them leading the way and setting a good example for the rest of us.”

Bradley was at the head of Millicent’s goal kickers again on the weekend, this time with five majors, while Jacob Carger had two.

Ty Lang and Ashton Lindner rounded out the best players, while Renzi gave credit to all of the young talents in the squad who have lifted themselves to the standard required of A Grade football over the last month.

For the Roos it was Mark Smith who earned the nod, with a strong defensive performance from the West recruit.

Alex Pearson also featured, while Tom Holmes – who bagged four goals – and Michael Minuzzo impressed as well.

Completing the list were ruckman Braiden Ousey – who took further responsibility again in playing coach Daron McElroy’s absence – along with Kyle Giddings.

The majority of the two playing lists will enjoy a rest over the long weekend, while a select few will gear up for the 2024 South East Zone Carnival at Blue Lake Sports Park.