THE Kempsey Saints saw history created last Saturday when both premier league grades finished the regular season with a semi-final berth.
In the second round of the local derby, against West Kempsey rivals Macleay Valley Rangers, first grade played one of their best halves of the year to finish 3-1 winners and steal 5th spot on the North Coast Premier league ladder.
The Saints Reserve grade although going down 1-0 in a stop start game marred by a red card and a serious injury to a Rangers player still finished equal first with southern club Wallis Lakes. Unlucky to have not claimed the first ever minor premiership for Saints, they find themselves in second spot.
This weekend Saints travel to Dixie Park to take on Port United in both grades. First grade needs to continue their new found momentum and will be in good stead against a very competitive Port United side.
With Saints coach Jason Fisher still expecting more out of his side, there may be better football to come from a side with huge potential.
“We need to dominate the midfield like we did against the rangers and keep pushing play forward in our attacks on the goal,” said Fisher.
The last time the two sides met the Saints went down 1-0 and the last time they met at Dixie Park at Port Macquarie it was a draw.
“It will be close contest but we are back at full strength with Evan Clarke and Jordan Ryan coming back into the side,” Fisher said.
“We have been working on goal shooting and keeping position as well as putting pressure on the first touch and some overload drills in training this week.
“We have also been working as a team to get possession to try and turn it over and that all comes down to putting pressure on that first touch and defending as a team.”
The Saints reserve grade have been disappointed with their efforts over the last few weeks but with the regular season behind them, it is the beginning of a new four week competition and the team has every reason to find the form that carried them to the top of the table.
Saints other senior grades are finished for the season with the Luke Flanagan coached Northern Men’s side finishing the season with some good performances. Only coming together this season, and providing lots of opportunities for some younger players to get a feel for senior football, the year has been declared successful.
The Northern Ladies side coached by Matt Baker made the semis and finished in 4th spot. The first semi was definitely a case of having to take chances when they come the sides way as the Saints played some good football early to set things up, however , it was Wauchope that found the back of the net and knocked Saints out.