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Ex-Demon Tim Smith boots five as Saints extend winning run to 21

By Daniel Cencic

An ex-Melbourne forward has starred in South Belgrave’s 10-goal final term blitz on Saturday, extending the club’s winning run to 21.

Picture: Davis Harrigan

A former Melbourne Demon has fired in his first outing for South Belgrave, helping his side to a 10-goal last quarter to overcome a challenge from Mulgrave on Saturday.

Ex-Demon Tim Smith topped the goalkicking with five on debut for the Saints in their 13.17 (95) to 5.6 (36) victory, extending the club’s winning run to 21 matches following on from its undefeated season in Division 3 in 2019.

The former Casey star linked with brother Mike at South Belgrave at the end of ’19 after retiring from the top level following three seasons and 13 games at Melbourne.

In a tough slog for three quarters, blustery conditions made goals hard to come by with just three majors combined kicked to half-time as the Saints found their way 11 points clear.

South Belgrave senior coach Luke Galliott said while it was an “ugly” game for three quarters, the floodgates opened in the last led by Smith after Mulgrave kept within striking distance at the final change.

Picture: Davis Harrigan

“(Smith) was a little bit sore around the neck just before half-time, then he ended up kicking five of those goals in the last quarter and he was part of that (10-goal last quarter),” Galliott said.

“It took a long time to break them (Mulgrave) down, they had the wind first, but it was sort of going their way across the ground a bit. It was just a really ugly game until the last quarter.

“All credit to Mulgrave, their pressure was really good and kept them in it, and we really couldn’t break them until late.”

The Saints’ core band of premiership stars stood up, led by skipper and 2019 Division 3 comp medallist Liam Kidd alongside ruckman Ben Haddock, Declan Forbes booted two and the evergreen Leigh Odermatt showed no signs of slowing down according to Galliott.

Meanwhile, decorated veteran Mike Smith featured alongside brother Tim in the best players in the pair’s first outing together.

Mulgrave’s gallant performance came in club great Adam Booth’s record-breaking 251st club match, as he booted two majors and finished best afield for the Lions.

With the long lay-off in mind, Galliott praised his side’s resolve in its first match after being promoted to Division 2 at the end of 2019.

“It’s our first game up in a new comp, we were feeling our way and there were probably nerves of not playing footy for 18 months or so, it was how it played out so it’s a really good start,” Galliott said.

The Saints host Heathmont at South Belgrave Recreation Reserve next Saturday.

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