St Pats ended Scott Bennett’s five-year reign as reserves coach with a 10.17 (77) to 7.8 (50) grand final victory over Evandale at Windsor Park on Saturday.
It was the Saints’ fourth flag under Bennett, three of which came on the back of undefeated seasons.
The Saints were on song early and the Eagles seemed frustrated as the red-hot favourites skipped out to a 15-point lead at quarter time.
They were a lot cleaner and direct around the ground with Brodie Langley, Nathan James and Jeff Scales Memorial Medallist Ben Arkless getting on top, before the tide started to turn in the second stanza.
The margin was pushed out to 21 points before the umpires began handing out 50-metre penalties like free candy at Christmas.
St Pats were undisciplined and the Eagles pounced with Matthew Wells’ second, and James Miller and Mitchell Gillam reduced the margin to just three points late in the term. However, Saints skipper Andrew Scolyer had the half-time scoreboard reading 5.8 (38) to 4.5 (29)
The Saints came out firing in the third and piled on three quick goals via Liam Brown, Matthew Lynam and a long bomb from defender Jono James. Evandale found itself under siege and struggling to manoeuvre the ball forward with its first inside-50 entries coming almost 15 minutes into the quarter.
Damian Wrankmore broke through at the 18-minute mark with a goal on the run, but a Nathan James special ensured St Pats’ 4.8 to a solitary goal term had the Eagles trailing by 35 points with 25 minutes to play.
The final term was uneventful with the result already decided, but Evandale managed a consolation battle win in the war.
“We’ve only lost four games in the past five years, so I finish out on a winning note,” Bennett said.
“I’m proud of the boys, the way we moved the ball and how we regathered after a poor second quarter.
“Liam Brown and Nato James stood out, but it was a great team effort.”
A proud Arkless added: “I’ve been at the club three years and this is my first flag – I’don’t know how to react. It’s fantastic.”