ANY side taking on the long trek to Gunbower knows it will be a tough day at the office but the Saints were looking forward to the contest against the fifth-placed — and Heathcote District Football League reigning premier — Leitchville-Gunbower.
Early indications were positive as the home team struggled to push through a disciplined Heathcote defensive unit until the loss of veteran Luke Bell, just 10 minutes in, threw a serious spanner in the works.
His absence affected the structure of the defence and the Bombers took advantage of the disarray and they kicked away.
Settling in the second term, the Saints regained their composure and once again applied pressure to the home team, with the margin at the long break only 10 points.
Dylan Robinson continued his fine form and was arguably best on the ground, providing the young team with a real presence in the packs and around the ground.
It was a game played at a desperate pace, with both teams wanting victory and neither side prepared to take a backward step.
The ball was being moved at speed up and down the ground but it was a battle of the defences as each side’s backline repelled constant attacks.
The difference in the game up to half-time was the poise and skill of the Bombers as they finished off attacking moves in a more convincing and clinical manner.
Once again, the defensive unit of Heathcote was excellent and but for their work the Bombers would have scored far more in the first half .
After half-time it was a matter of “same-old, same-old” as the Saints lapsed in concentration, giving Leitchville-Gunbower more freedom.
Taking full toll of the Saints’ drop off, the Bombers hammered home five goals in a 10-minute period — which virtually sealed the game.
The Saints rallied again to score some late goals but the damage had been done.
But it was now important for them to finish the game in a positive manner.
The Bombers scored early and a blow-out was looking likely but in an encouraging sign for the coaching panel the boys ran out the game strongly, kicking the last three goals of the match.
In the end a 29-point margin was a reasonable outcome but fans were left to ponder how the game would have played out without the lapse in the third term.
Brayden Klemke once again provided the Saints with run out of defence and he is in great form both at ground level and in the air.
Tom Pain was outstanding on the ball and he really enjoyed the space the Gunbower oval provides. His hard running and efforts at the ball and around the packs is critical to his team.
Star defender Codie Price found himself running with a tag all day. Although the Bomber player restricted Price’s normally damaging role, the star Saint’s fitness and judgement saw him finish in the best players.
Jack Paisley always finds something against the Bombers and Saturday was no different, with his fearless attack on the ball and desperation for his team a real standout.
Louis Piccolo used his pace and strength to great effect. Few opposition players can break away from a tackle once he wraps his arms around them.
And young colt Jordan Marcroft toiled manfully, and although he is taking some hits in the ruck duels he continues to provide his team with a contest at every ball-up.