Matthew Patroni (headgear) flies from three-deep to spoil.
Matthew Patroni (headgear) flies from three-deep to spoil. Callum Dick

Saints post historic win over Coolaroo

Australian Football: For as long as anyone at the South Burnett Saints can remember, Coolaroo have been the bane in the club's AFL Darling Downs existence.

The Toowoomba side kicked the Saints out of last season's finals series, and routed the Saints in the opening round of this year's competition.

From the outside looking in, the previously undefeated Coolaroo travelled to Kingaroy's Lyle Vidler Oval on Saturday expected to leave with another four competition points. But no one told the Saints that.

In a tight contest, the Saints showed their resilience to kick away in the final term, running out convincing 15.10 (100) to 11.8 (74) winners.

Fielding a near-full strength side for the first time this season, the Saints took it up to their more fancied rivals from the opening bounce.

A 32-26 quarter-time lead put the visiting side on notice, before Coolaroo rallied in the second term to take a 51-46 lead into the main break.

In previous seasons the Saints might have crumbled after giving up the lead. Instead, led by Braeden Snow's tenacity through the middle and Jordan Pressnell's four goals, the Saints put the foot down.

An eight goal to three second half tells only part of the story; Coolaroo were out-bodied and outplayed for much of the contest, with a number of ill-disciplined acts only adding insult to injury.

Saints' 2015 captain Adam Branch was only a spectator on Saturday, but he said it was great to finally get a win against their rivals.

"It was fantastic, I think it's the first time we've beaten them (as the Saints),” Branch said.

"Talking to (coach) Paul Pressnell he said it's the first time that most of the side has been available, and I think that really showed.

"If (the Saints) can beat Coolaroo at home like that pretty convincingly, and they take that form into the away games they can absolutely (beat anyone in the competition).”

The Saints host Goondiwindi at Lyle Vidler Oval this Saturday, following the Hawks' 106-50 win over Toowoomba Tigers.

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