North West AFL: Inverell Saints hold off Tamworth Kangaroos

Inverell Saints paid tribute to their 2007 grand final winning side with a three-point win over the Tamworth Kangaroos in their North West AFL clash on Saturday.

Goalkicker: Matt Hodge booted six for the Tamworth Kangaroos in their narrow loss to the Inverell Saints on Saturday. Photo: Peter Hardin

Goalkicker: Matt Hodge booted six for the Tamworth Kangaroos in their narrow loss to the Inverell Saints on Saturday. Photo: Peter Hardin

Wearing replica heritage jerseys adorned with the names of all the premiership players, the Saints’ held on for a 13.10-88 to 13.7-85 win.

They had to fight hard for the points, with the Kangaroos – from 30 points down after the first quarter - hitting the front with just over a minute to go.

But the Saints rallied and were, to ecstatic roars from the bar, able to muster one final goal. Ben Gregory kicked six for them, while Matt Hodge did likewise for the Kangaroos, who were left to rue their first quarter.

“It was one (game) that got away,” Kangaroos coach Ben Mitchell said.

He attributed their slow start to a few different factors.

“We had four blokes rock up right as the siren went,” Mitchell said.

They then had a player yellow-carded, leaving them down to 17 for 15 minutes.

“They (Saints) took advantage of that,” he said.

“It’s always hard when you’re a man down.”

It also took them a while to adjust to the physical pressure the Saints put on them.

They were however able to turn things around pretty quickly, with Mitchell rating their second quarter one of their best of the year.

“Even the second half, I certainly wasn’t disappointed with it. It was a wet tough game,” Mitchell said.

He said Andrew Weymer was great for them in the ruck in tough conditions.

Jamie Williams also had a strong game at half-forward, as did Ciaran McCann at half-back.