IT may have been the underdog, but Berrigan found its bite in the elimination final against Blighty at Deniliquin yesterday.
The Saints booked themselves a showdown with Tocumwal in the first semi-final after winning 15.13 (103) to 9.5 (59).
Coach Ty Russell was delighted with the Saints’ performance.
“We had 21 players having a red-hot crack,” Russell said yesterday.
“We kept pressure on them all game and played out four quarters for the first time this year — and this is when you want to be doing that.
“We probably went in as the underdogs but they all played well and it was a team effort — it was a great win.”
The Saints led for much of the match and could have had things wrapped up in the third term but for wayward kicking.
But, in ideal conditions for football, they finished the game strongly.
“To the boys’ credit they just kept fighting all game,” Russell said.
“It’s a very big ground and they ran all day.
“We should have kicked away in the third, but instead kicked something like eight points, but we finished off strongly.”
Russell said onballers Kyle Russell and Justin Crawford were instrumental in the middle of the ground, while twins Cameron and Jack Mynard controlled the run from the back line with Lochie Schifferle.
Harley Middleton and Crawford booted three goals each, while Jack Mynard and Jamie Larter kicked two.
Russell said the Berrigan’s depth made the difference.
“Before the game I asked for the bottom six to lift and they really responded,” he said.
Russell said the Saints were brimming with confidence.
“We play Tocumwal next week on our home ground and we’ll go into that chockers with confidence,” he said.
“The boys are very excited.
“And I’m just rapt how they kept the pressure on them and played for four quarters.
“They stuck to the task and did what they were told and you can’t ask for more than that.”
Strathmerton had earlier beaten Tocumwal 17.14 (116) to 9.6 (60).
Adrian Crestani bagged six for the Bulldogs with Adam Graham and Brayden Coburn among the best.
Dylan Flanagan kicked three goals for the Bloods while Bradley Perkins was their best.