Blighty rally late

By Southern Riverina News

Blighty came up trumps in a back and forth battle against Rennie on Saturday to keep their place in the Picola and District Football League top four.

A blistering first term suggested it could be a walk in the park for the Redeyes after jumping to a 30 point lead, but it was anything but as the Hoppers battled their way into the contest.

At half-time, Rennie had chopped the margin back to eight points and were within three points at the final change, sending a big scare through the Blighty camp.

But the Redeyes answered the call and slotted the final quarter’s only four goals to run away with the 27 point win.

Final score, Blighty 11.11 (77) to 7.8 (50).

At 8-2, Blighty coach Jack Tyndall said beating another quality team was important in the context of his side’s year.

‘‘We’ve probably only really had the one scalp this season with Picola and it was good to beat Rennie because they’d picked up a few blokes,’’ he said.

‘‘We had a few out, so it was good to see that with a few down we could still get a result, which made it pleasing for us.’’

Without superboot Jed Brain and Tyndall himself, the Redeyes’ second and third quarters let their opponents back into the game, before ultimately gritting out the important win.

‘‘The boys have been a bit frustrating; we’ve had some flat first quarters and the second and third are normally where we kick into gear,’’ Tyndall said.

‘‘So I gave them a bit of a rap for the first quarter, and then they did the opposite for the next two.

‘‘I don’t know what happened, I think we just took our foot off the gas a bit and went away from the way we want to play.’’

The Hoppers, whose buffer from eighth to ninth was cut to one game with the loss, were led admirably by Craig Ednie and Dean Bigger, with Chase Strawhorn kicking four goals.

But Tyndall was full of praise for Redeye Ryan Chadderton for his shutdown role on Ednie.

‘‘Ryan Chadderton did a good job for us. Craig Ednie had a fair bit of the ball in the first half and he went to him,’’ Tyndall said.

‘‘Ryan probably had a fair bit of the ball himself and we threw him on Ednie, and that was a bit of a turning point.

‘‘Dane Maxwell was really good and has put together a good patch of footy.

‘‘Lachie MacDonald’s forward pressure is great and there are a few blokes who could take a leaf out of his book.’’

Blighty’s reserves suffered a shock loss against ninth placed Rennie, going down by 37 points.

Final score, Rennie 9.8 (62) to Blighty 3.7 (25).

Onballer Darcy Pogue was Blighty’s best with Aaron Litchfield battling well in the ruck.

Others who impressed for the home side were Matt Barker, Jarrod Andrews, Bret Leech and Kynan McKenzie.