St Mary’s have asserted themselves as a genuine MC Labour Division 2 finals contender after producing a 15-point win over Watsonia at Whatmough Park.
After trailing by a point at quarter time, the Burra went to work in the second quarter, kicking seven of the next nine majors, including five consecutive goals in 15 minutes, to set the tone for a 12.7 (79) to 9.8 (62) triumph.
The victory gives St Mary’s a four-point gap in the top five and now sit just two points behind the fourth placed Lower Plenty. Watsonia meanwhile, are only a game outside the top five but with matches against top three sides in the next fortnight, the Saints will need to find some form again in order to avoid slipping away from the pack.
Rory Hanlon was superb in midfield, combining well with ruckman Bailey Leonard to create plenty of clearances for the home side. They also impressed inside 50, kicking three majors between them.
In his second senior game of the season, Jack Cicitta was a livewire up forward, kicking three goals in the space of 10 minutes to begin the Burra’s surge in the second term.
The Saints had a bright start to the game thanks to three first quarter goals from James Lucente. The forward finished the afternoon with six majors, taking his 2022 tally to 25, while Daniel Annetta tried hard all afternoon, with his three goals a reward for effort.
The home side did kick the first of the afternoon, with Vincent Loccisano converting his set shot, but the visitors then quickly turned the tables, Lucente kicking three majors in seven minutes to quickly create a 12-point lead.
Wrestling back momentum, the Burra were able to secure two important goals late in the term through Nicholas Gedge and Cicitta, to trail by just a point at quarter time.
It was goals galore in the second quarter, but most of them were sailing through the St Mary’s big sticks.
Cicitta kicked his second and Annetta found his first major in the first two minutes of the term before the home side ramped up the pace.
The Burra kicked five unanswered to suddenly have a 29-point lead as time on approached. This included a period of four goals in five minutes that blew the game right open.
Annetta managed to kick his second to end the drought for Watsonia before Leonard kicked a brilliant set shot goal from the boundary to give his side that same 29-point lead at the main break.
The scoring dried up in the second half with just two goals scored in the third term.
As the heat ramped up around the contest, no side were able to take advantage of multiple inside 50 entries.
Loccisano added his second major while Annetta’s third goal of the afternoon just after time on, gave Watsonia every chance despite trailing by 28 points heading into the final quarter.
Lucente’s fourth major opened the scoring in the last term before Leonard’s second goal from the boundary put the nail in the coffin for the Saints.
The visitors didn’t give in throughout the entire term, Lucente added goal’s five and six to reduce the margin in the last few moments, but it was too little to late as the Burra do the double against Watsonia in season 2022.