Statement sent

By Southern Riverina News

Berrigan made a large statement in round four of Picola District Football League, knocking off previously undefeated Strathmerton in an eight point thriller.

The Saints had to dig deep for the upset win when behind in the final quarter after conceding its opening three goals, then kicking the game’s last three goals to clinch the points.

It marked their arrival as one of the competition’s genuine contenders, now having beaten a side that had shone in the league’s opening three games.

Coach Lee Schmidt — who was named best on ground — said the win might do wonders for his side’s confidence.

‘‘Wins like that let people outside the club, but also on the inside, know we’re on the right track,’’ Schmidt said.

‘‘There’s knowledge there now that we know we can win against a very good side, and when we’re under the pump.

‘‘We understand Strathy are a good side with really good players, and you’re always happy with a win.

‘‘With our new recruits and an extra year of experience for our younger guys, we know we’ve got potential, but it’s probably going to take us a little bit longer because we’re still getting to know each other.’’

Strathmerton led by three points at quarter-time and two at the half, but could not out-wrestle the Saints late in the game.

Schmidt said his side’s appetite to compete and to rise to the occasion had been particularly impressive.

‘‘We probably had opportunities to kick a few more goals, but basic skill errors cost us. There’s a bit still to work on, but it’s always good to have a win.

‘‘It was a pretty heavy track, making it stoppage after stoppage. It wasn’t clean footy, but the part I enjoyed most was we’d had the week off, and with the wet weather it hasn’t been the best week on the track.

‘‘We came out fired up and being first to the footy. At times there were mistakes, but we fought it out pretty well.’’

Standouts for the Saints included Mark McQualter and Ben Irvine along with Tom and Jake Beams, the latter duo kicking two goals apiece as did Harley Middleton and Ted Walliss.

For Strathmerton, Michael Laidlaw was his side’s best player with three goals, with Zeke Bunge, Lewis O’Sullivan and Sam Lewis also strong.

The win puts Berrigan in fifth position on the ladder, but equal on points with the three teams above them. They travel to Picola United on Saturday for another important encounter.