Panthers Matthew Ryan chases BITS player Jacob Mills in the semi-final clash.
Panthers Matthew Ryan chases BITS player Jacob Mills in the semi-final clash. Chris Ison

Saints leave it late

“IT’S the best win I’ve been involved win at the club.”

A big statement from BITS Saints coach Adam Dickenson, but a measure of how important the three-goal semi-final win against the Rockhampton Panthers was for the club on Saturday, and the manner in which it transpired.

In the coach’s terms, BITS were “absolutely hammered” in the first quarter, as the Panthers midfield sunk their claws into the Saints’ small brigade.

Down 28 points at the break, Dickenson reminded his players the fast and furious pace of finals footy was a cut above home-and-away encounters.

“I don’t think they quite had the experience (in finals) to know what the tempo would be like,” he said.

In the second quarter, the fightback began, after the Saints onballers were implored to keep a closer rein on their opponents.

“Their midfield carved us up and we needed to tighten up in that area, which we did,” he said.

A match-winning move proved to be Myles Clarke going into the ruck, Dickenson said, and the Saints were soon able to plug the Panthers attack, and they went goalless in the second and last quarter.

BITS were back in the hunt, aided and abetted by Dan Hunt and Nathan Hogg, typically rock solid in defence.

“The backline stood up again, as they have all year,” the coach said.

BITS full forward John Beirouti snared half a dozen goals in the stirring victory, and the Saints hit the front with 10 minutes to go and didn’t look back.

“The boys were over the moon after the win,” he said.

“The fact we were underdogs and the comeback gives us a lot of confidence.”

 

Result: BITS Saints 2.1 5.4 8.4 12.7 (79) def Rockhampton Panthers 6.5 6.9 8.11 8.12 (60). Goals: BITS: J. Beirouti 6, S. Clarke 3, J. Mills 2, N. Hogg. Best: BITS: Adam Dickenson, Damon Stebbings, Nathan Hogg, Myles Clarke, Ricky McClure.



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