Maitland Claim First Premiership
The Maitland Saints claimed their first ever premiership when they won today’s Black Diamond Plate Grand Final at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground on Saturday defeating arch rivals Singleton by 25 points. Final scores being Maitland 14.5.89 to Singleton 9.10.64.
After a great first quarter where the Singleton kicked five goals to two, the Roosters could only manage four goals in the remaining three quarters as Maitland produced an excellent defensive performance to eventually win in convincing fashion.
Led by the vastly experienced Ben Stewart and Tim Sheldon, the Saints took control of the game after quarter time, aided by kicking fourteen goals from nineteen effective scoring shots. Stewart was superb in the centre, and Sheldon's work as the loose man across half-back was pivotal to Maitland's outstanding performance.
Singleton simply had no answers for the straight-shooting Maitland, who quite simply shut down the Roosters to deservedly hold up the Premiership Cup.
Skipper Wade Beard led the way up forward for Maitland with four very important goals. Beard was well supported by Aiden Damico with three goals and Chris Pedler with two majors. Alex Mitchell and Michael Phillips kicked two goals each for Singleton.
Recalled veteran Jim Taranto repaid Maitland's hierarchy by winning the Best on Ground Medal. He was well supported by Stewart (whose Polly Farmer-like handballing was a feature of the game), Pat McMahon, Sheldon, Aiden Damico and Beard.
Star centreman Andrew Scott was magnificent for the Roosters in a virtuoso display that would have him in contention for the Best on Ground Medal despite playing in a losing side. Time and again Scott, under intense pressure from the Saints, extracted the ball from contested situations. Scott was supported by Luke Davis, Joshua Long, Andrew MacPherson, Richard Wilkes and Jarryd Ingram.