Final quarter surge sees Saints claim under-19s flag

Published on Monday, September 5, 2022

A four goal to one final quarter helped Watsonia claim the Marbuilt Division 3 under-19s flag, defeating Mernda by 21 points at Whittlesea Showgrounds.

Just one-point separated the two sides at three quarter time before the Saints registered eight scoring shots to one in a brilliant last term to claim the 7.13 (55) to 5.4 (34) triumph.

The Saints finished the year in third spot with an 11-6 record, They would then go on to win all three finals by a combined margin of 114 points to collect their first thirds/under-19s flag since 1977.

Patrick Dooley was awarded with the best on ground medal, capping off an exceptional finals series for the 19 year-old where he was in the best in all three finals games.

Another potential best on ground recipient was Saints co-captain Nicholas Lawson who led from the front and put together a strong performance.

Jake Ratsakas and Hamish Wall kicked three majors each. Wall had not kicked a goal this season until Round 17 but he finished the 2022 campaign strong with 11 goals in his last five games, including eight in this year’s finals series.

Joel Harris was Mernda’s most impressive in the losing effort, he now finishes the season with 14 selections in the best in 16 games. Aidan Black kicked three majors for the second time in three games while Matthew Bawden also played well.

In wet conditions, it was expectedly a scrappy start to the contest as both sides got a feel of what the day would bring.

The Demons settled into the game quicker than their opponents and after a couple of early behinds, were able to kick the first major of the afternoon thanks to a brilliant effort from Black in which he smothered the defensive kick out, spun past his opponent and kicked truly.

It would be the only goal of the quarter, with Mernda leading by seven points at the first change.

Watsonia shot out of the gates in the second term as Saints’ leading goalkicker Toby Berardi converted his set shot on goal within just one minute of play to open his side’s account.

The Saints continued to press in the next few minutes with multiple inside 50 entries, however Mernda would respond as Blake Harris took a nice diving mark before slotting home his set shot to bring the margin back out to beyond a goal.

A half time difference of six points meant any side still had the capability of breaking the game open.

The third quarter couldn’t separate the sides anymore, with both sides kicking two majors each for the term.

Watsonia would be ruing missed opportunities however, kicking 2.5 to Mernda’s 2.0 to still trail at three quarter time, albeit by just one point.

But there would be no regrets from the Saints in the final quarter, as they turned the tables to pile on four goals to one, sending the premiership cup to Binnak Park in season 2022.

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