Almighty Blighty

April 09, 2018

Eight is great: Blighty's Jed Brain shone against Katunga with eight big ones.

Blighty took the points in the first north-west versus south-east Picola league derby on Saturday.

Away against Katunga, the Redeyes looked in dominant form, particularly in a third-quarter blitz when they smashed home eight goals to one to build a 48-point three-quarter-time buffer.

The Swans kicked nine goals in the final stanza, but the visitors were equal to the task, pulling off a 19-point win many would see as an upset.

Pearce medallist Jed Brain was back to his best, slotting home eight goals to help boost his side to an important win.

Blighty coach Jack Tyndall was thrilled with the result.

‘‘I thought the first three quarters were really good, especially that third quarter,’’ he said.

‘‘We took our foot off the gas a bit in the last, which was a bit disappointing, but all in all it was a really good start.

‘‘Our midfield was doing well and the forwards did an unreal job, but Jed is a pretty special player.

‘‘It’s not out of the ordinary to see him do that, he’s an absolute freak, and it’s not a surprise to see him finish with eight.’’

New Swan Alistair Gillespie had a big showing with four goals to be named his side’s best, but Katunga failed to match last year’s form when it made south-east finals.

It was the first test of how the two divisions will compete as one unified Picola District league, with Blighty flying the flag for the north-west.

But Tyndall said he had seen plenty of promise in Katunga and expected as many challenges from the other south-east teams.

‘‘They’ll be a pretty handy side, in the last quarter they kicked nine goals and when they got going, they looked really good,’’ he said.

‘‘In that last quarter I reckon a few of our boys were getting a bit nervous they might get us.

‘‘But the standard and skills were really good. Hopefully the new clubs coming in can even up the competition a bit.’’

Tom Billings starred in the ruck for the Redeyes, with Matt Jackson and Sam Singleton other standouts.

A remarkable 17.4 return was also crucial, with a less efficient display meaning the Swans would have been firmly in the picture after their late surge.

‘‘(The goal-kicking) was a bit out of the ordinary really, last year it felt like every game we finished with more points than goals,’’ Tyndall said.

‘‘Jed last year had a few 4.6 (games) and that sort of thing, and yesterday he’s kicked 8.1.

‘‘Probably part of it is the great delivery we had from the midfielders, there’s some real class in there especially with guys like Matt Jackson.’’

Blighty heads home to host Tocumwal next week while the Swans have a great chance to get their first win against Jerilderie.

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