Gutsy final stanza keeps hopes alive

WITH its season on the line Sawtell produced a gutsy final quarter to topple Coffs Swans and keep hopes of defending its premiership title alive.

The Saints led by 26 points at half-time but looked to go to sleep in the third quarter as Coffs Swans kicked six goals to one to wrest away the lead and take momentum into the final quarter.

Sawtell coach Les Cohen was confident though that his boys would be able to return the favour in the final stanza.

Kicking with the aid of a strong breeze the Saints finished off the match kicking four goals to two.

“I was a little concerned at three-quarter time, but I was reasonably confident that our skill level and our run from the younger players would get the job done,” Cohen said.

“In the third quarter the Swans had the wind and the ball didn't bounce our way a couple of times.”

It was Sawtell's ability to kick five goals into the wind at Richardson Park that Cohen believes set up the win.

Trailing by only two points at the first break, the Saints then kicked away to build up a solid lead at the major interval.

The work of Sam Johnston and Todd Matthews in the midfield complemented the fine ruck work of Ethan Kelly.

Spearhead Robbie Zeggers continued his liking for kicking goals against the Swans by booting six majors.

New recruit Craig Parsons was again outstanding for the Swans up front.

His five goals made him a difficult proposition.

Saturday's win means the Saints can still sneak into fourth position, but it must beat the top two teams over the final two rounds to achieve that feat.

On paper it seems like a tall order to carry out but coach Cohen believes it's still a distinct possibility.

“All we've got to do is keep winning,” he said.

“The boys are all confident that we can do it starting with Grafton this week.”

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