Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Benalla Saints soar to top of ladder

Benalla Saints have started the season undefeated after a 90-point win against Mansfield on Saturday.

MONIQUE FREER April 30, 2014 3:11am

Benalla Saints are sitting in first position on the Goulburn Valley Football League ladder after a 90-point thrashing of Mansfield on Saturday.

And senior coach Luke Morgan says the best is yet to come.

The Saints were ruthless on the field, tackling hard and dominating the centre clearances to give nine individual goalkickers a shot with the ball.

‘‘We’re not at our best yet, no way,’’ Morgan said.

‘‘We’ve still got to get a bit cleaner, we were a little bit fumbly at times and that’s something that we’ll work hard on, and we’ve still got to develop real consistency in our side.’’

Mansfield opened the scoring with a major within the first minute of the game at Benalla Showgrounds, but it was the Eagles’ only one for the quarter as the Saints leapt out to a 22-point lead at quarter-time.

Josh Marchbank was joined by Will Sullivan in the ruck and the pair proved how potent they were in the young Saints side.

Not only did the tall timber duo give midfielders Morgan, James Martiniello and Will Martiniello consistent first use of the ball, but both pushed forward and kicked three goals each.

‘‘For our big boys to be able to kick goals as well as ruck well is amazing for our footy team,’’ Morgan said.

The Saints continued to stack on the goals, stretching their lead considerably at each break.

Brook Martyn was impressive in the backline, while at the opposite end of the ground Shayne McKean and Nick Warnock put in strong performances.

Morgan said he was particularly happy with his side’s consistency during the game.

‘‘Mansfield had a couple of key players out but it just shows where we’re at as a footy club, what we deserve and what we expect every week when we run on the field,’’ he said.

‘‘We don’t expect half performances on the field and today we got probably a full performance for most of the game.

‘‘The teams we’ve played — with all due respect — we’ve been expected to win so that’s something that I’m really pleased with ... we’ve come in favourites all three times and we’ve put convincing wins on the board all three times.’’


For full story see this week’s Ensign.

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