Saints go marching to ultimate showdown


WOMEN'S AFL

Wollongong Saints survived their toughest test outside of matches against arch-rivals Southern Power to beat Penrith by 28 points and qualify for Sunday's grand final in Sydney women's division two.

The Saints rallied from a two-point deficit at quarter-time to take a stranglehold in the second term in an 8.9 (57) to 4.5 (29) victory in Saturday's preliminary final at Henson Park.

It was the second time in a fortnight and fourth time this season that Saints had beaten third-placed Penrith. The second-placed Saints now face unbeaten Southern Power in the grand final at Blacktown International Sportspark.

The Power have inflicted Wollongong's only three defeats this season by a combined 16 points, including a three-point loss in their major semi-final.

"We're ready for Southern Power," Saints skipper Leanne Kidd said.

"We've been so close in all our games we just have to keep our composure, work hard and really want the ball and we can beat them."

Kidd admitted that with a grand final spot on the line, Penrith fully tested Saints.

"It's one of the hardest games we've had and probably hardest outside of the Power games," Kidd said.

"We were down by two at quarter-time, but second quarter we got it going and played better. It is the kind of game that will put us in good stead for the grand final."

Wollongong beat Penrith by 32 points in the elimination semi-final a fortnight ago after wins by 58 points and 28 points in the regular season.

Catherine Stanton booted four goals for Wollongong, while centre half-back Casey-Ley Moane was outstanding and Kimberly Chan's running game was also a key factor.

The Saints ended the season in second spot (14 wins, two losses), with the two defeats against the Power.

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