Saints shine in big wet

Published on Sunday, May 7, 2017

Author : Christopher Chrysostomou

Watsonia notched its second victory of the A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 season in heavy conditions at Lalor Reserve in Round 4.

The Saints dominated from the opening bounce to defeat Lalor 16.16 (112) to 5.3 (33) on a rain-sodden afternoon.

Adrian Alfonsi and Jeremy Bennett both kicked five goals for the Saints, while young midfielder Anthony Cardamone backed up last week’s strong display against the Fitzroy Stars with another solid performance.

The game was previewed as a genuine opportunity for both sides to record their second win of the season.

Both sides had only tasted victory once in 2017 and a win would have given one of the sides handy breathing space from the bottom of the ladder.

Watsonia was the quicker side to adjust to the weather and jumped the home team, kicking the first two goals of the game.

Lalor struggled to move the ball forward in the opening 10 minutes, before it eventually got on the scoreboard via Nick Sandy. The key forward looked lively for the Bloods and his confidence was sky high after kicking six goals in the Round 3 win over Panton Hill.

But unfortunately for Sandy, the Bloods struggled to get the ball forward regularly and Watsonia piled on three more goals to open up a 25-point lead at quarter time.

Lalor came out looking like a completely different side in the second quarter and had all the attacking play.

Goals to Sandy, Jarryd Baldasso and Shannon Smith reduced the margin to seven points and it appeared Lalor was the team with all the momentum.

But Allan Young popped up for his second goal late in the term to give Watsonia a 17-point cushion at half time.

Any hope of a Bloods fight back in the second half was quickly dashed by Watsonia, who kicked away in the third term.

Alfonsi converted two majors to increase his tally to four for the match and his combination with Bennett and Young proved to be too much for Lalor’s defence.

Ill-discipline didn’t help the Bloods’ cause, as they conceded two 50-metre penalties during the course of the quarter.

Lalor coach Jarrod King was not impressed with his side’s efforts at three-quarter time and gave his a spray to try to spark his side back to life.

But the passion and commitment he tried awakening in his players was non-existent in the final term.

The Bloods went scoreless, while the Saints piled on five goals to secure a percentage-boosting win.

Watsonia’s total of 112 was its highest score for the season and after previously having struggles converting from forward entries, the standout performances from Alfonsi and Bennett showed the Division 2 newcomers have different avenues to goal.

For Lalor it will be another week of sole searching as they try to come up with a formula that will work for four quarters.

Watsonia hosts North Heidelberg following the AFL Victoria Community Championships bye, while Lalor makes the trip to Montmorency Park to take on Lower Plenty.

Final score: Lalor 5.3 (33) def by Watsonia 16.16 (112)

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