By Sophie Wheeler
BITS Saints vs Rockhampton Panthers
Saturday, 11th August 2018
2:05pm, Kele Park
BITS Saints 13.12.90 defeated Rockhampton Panthers 11.9.75
The BITS Saints narrowly defeated the Rockhampton Panthers in the first round of AFL Capricornia Senior Mens semi-finals on Saturday, bringing the Panthers’ finals crusade to an abrupt end.
The two sides encountered each other three times during the season, with them both producing a nail-biting draw in round 3 and the Saints taking home comfortable wins in rounds 8 and 13.
The Saints headed into Saturday’s match four games clear of the Panthers, meaning the Rockhampton natives needed to produce an enormous upset if they had any chance of proceeding to the next round.
The Panthers managed to keep the Saints at bay for the first half of the game, heading into the main break with an 8-point lead.
The Saints clawed their way back in the third term, slotting five goals and one behind to the Panthers’ two goals three behinds.
The Saints’ third quarter accuracy in front of goal edged them eight points in front of the Panthers as they headed into the final quarter.
The Saints maintained their slim lead over the closely-trailing Panthers for the final term, finishing 15 points in front as the final siren sounded.
Saints’ Full Forward Brendan Clarke booted six majors throughout the match, proving too strong for the Rockhampton defence and helping to cement his team’s victory.
BITS Saints will enjoy a week off while minor premiers Yeppoon and second-placed Glenmore face off this Saturday for a spot in the Grand Final.
The losing side of the Yeppoon and Glenmore clash will take on the Saints in the final obstacle standing in the way of their ticket to the big dance.