Saints stun Redbacks in remarkable turnaround

LESS than two months after copping a 166-point hiding off Wedderburn, St Arnaud produced a remarkable turnaround on Saturday to inflict the Redbacks' first loss in almost a year.

In a stunning upset that breathed new life back into the North Central Football League premiership race, the Saints led at every change to win 9.13 (67) to 7.10 (52) at Lord Nelson Park.

When the two sides last met on May 3, the Redbacks - who had won their previous 17 games - had trounced the Saints 34.16 (220) to 6.8 (44) in a whitewash.

The Saints had control of Saturday's contest at half-time when they led by 22 points after holding the Redbacks to just one goal.

But Wedderburn charged back into the game in the third term, kicking four goals to two to cut the margin to seven points at the final change.

However, the Saints - whose best quarters this season have been their last - answered the challenge with 3.2 to 2.0 in the final term to beat the Redbacks for just the second time in their past 18 meetings.

Coach James McNamee, James Wray and Caleb Bloomer were the best for the Saints, who had Nicholas Coghlan kick three goals.

In what was Wedderburn's first loss since it was beaten by Wycheproof-Narraport in round 12 last season, Jaran McKay, Hayden Polglase and Wil Chalmers (two goals) played well.

• Charlton held off a competitive Wycheproof-Narraport to win by 14 points at home.

The Navy Blues won 8.11 (59) to 7.3 (45) in an evenly-matched contest where only the second quarter when Charlton kicked 1.6 to 0.0 proved the difference.

Aside from the second term, both sides kicked 3.1 in the first term and Charlton outscored the Demons by one point in both the third and final quarters.

Rhys Thompson, Matthew Willox and Kieran Sait played well for the Navy Blues, whose leading goalkicker was Joe McGrath (three).

The best for the Demons - who have now lost four of their eight games by less than three goals - were Joseph Coatsworth, Thomas Keane and co-coach Boe Bish.

James Coatsworth kicked four of their seven goals, and has now booted 11 of the Demons' 17 goals in their past two games.

Saturday's performance was a much improved showing by the Demons on their round four game against Charlton when they were belted by 99 points.

• Fifth-placed Birchip-Watchem closed to within one game of the top four after downing bottom side Donald by 27 points.

The Bulls improved to 4-5 with the 10.12 (72) to 6.9 (45) victory at Donald.

Shaun Neeson (four goals) was the standout player on the ground for the Bulls, who were also well led by Joel Cusack, coach Tom Carland and Dean Douglas.

Luke Carr, Brody Haddow, Glenn Wyatt and William McAllister battled hard for Donald.

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