Sport

Benalla clinches win over Rochester

By Aydin Payne

Benalla celebrated its longest away trip in the Goulburn Valley League with a win at Moon Oval on Saturday, defeating Rochester by 55 points.

Rochester’s inaccuracy in front of goals hurt its chances of getting within striking distance of the Saints, as the away side pulled away in the final term to seal consecutive victories.

Benalla coach Jimmy Martiniello said his side had gotten back to playing its style of football, with the Saints’ ferocious attack on the contest proving decisive in the win.

‘‘I was really happy with the performance from the boys,’’ Martiniello said.

‘‘I thought we got our game plan going again and got back to playing the way we like to play.

‘‘We really brought the pressure and when we bring that tackling pressure it flows right across the entire field.

‘‘It was just a great four-quarter effort from the boys.’’

After a tight tussle in the opening quarter, Benalla lurched ahead in the second term — kicking five goals to none — which set the tone for the rest of the game.

Brody Webster slotted home six goals in a best afield performance, with the dynamic forward entering a purple patch of form — kicking 13 goals in his past three games.

Saints ruckman Cody Crawford was a standout and Riley Moran was electric off half-back.

Rochester’s Nathan Marrone, Mitch Bright and Hamish Hoopell were the standouts for the home side.

‘‘Brody has had a great couple of weeks now, I thought his tackling effort around the contest was superb,’’ Martiniello said.

‘‘Cody gives us plenty of options in the ruck and Riley was impressive across half-back.

‘‘He (Moran) is in his first year of GV footy and he marked really well and is playing with confidence which is great to see.’’

Martiniello said his side would enjoy the win before focusing on next round’s clash against ladder-leader Kyabram.

‘‘Really happy with the effort and we’ll enjoy the win before we reset and look to next week,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re really looking forward to embracing the challenge against one of the best teams in the competition, it’s a great opportunity to test yourself.’’

The win now places the Saints in third on the ladder and the Tigers sit five spots back in eighth.

Benalla 2.2, 7.4, 8.5, 14.11 (95)

Rochester 1.4, 1.4, 3.9, 3.12 (30)

Goals

Benalla: Brody Webster 6, Baily Macdonald 2, David Mennen 1, Cody Crawford, Jordan Wolff, Mitch Exton, Marcus O’Brien, Pat Warner.

Rochester: Liam Bartels 2, Brodie Montague 1.

Best

Benalla: Brody Webster, Cody Crawford, Riley Moran, Nick Warnock, Chris Welsh, Pat Warner.

Rochester: Nathan Marrone, Mitch Bright, Hamish Hooppell, Brodie Montague, Isaiah Miller, Matthew Kellett.