In its inaugural season, the Victorian Wheelchair Football League has attracted onlookers with its fast-paced ball movement and multi-dimensional skill set.
St Kilda has been represented proudly by the Saints’ first ever wheelchair team, led by captain and ex-Federal police officer Marcus Sander.
After a bye in Round 1, the Saints got off to a solid start, beating Essendon 7.6 (48) to 2.2 (14).
Marcus Sander and Anthony Perito led the way with three goals each, while Lenny Redrose added one of his own to seal a convincing victory.
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A Round 3 clash with the Tigers followed, but a spirited St Kilda effort couldn’t quite get the job done over an impressive Richmond outfit as the Saints succumbed to a 16-point loss, 7.6 (48) to 5.2 (32).
Sander again led the way with two goals, assisted by Patrick McKay with two and Perito with a single, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to curtail the influence of the Tigers’ main man, Riley Fitzgerald, who registered all seven Richmond goals.
The Saints following their Round 5 triumph over Hawthorn.
Round 4 saw the Saints come up against the league leaders in Collingwood, whose ominous goal-scoring form continued from the previous rounds.
The unbeaten Magpies have now put every side in the competition to the sword and boast an almost unfathomable percentage of 226.32%.
A four-goal-to-one final quarter surge driven by Perito and McKay was a case of too little too late, as Collingwood continued their unbeaten run to emerge 57-point winners, 14.8 (92) to 5.5 (35).
The Saints found their range against the Hawks in Round 5, with a host of strong contributors having an influence over the contest.
St Kilda had a day out in front of goal, with Perito (4), Sander and Ryan Smith (3), Redrose (2) and Antony Arulnesathasan (1) all featuring on the scoresheet.
The Saints’ defence restricted the Hawks to just three goals and was pivotal in the 13.5 (83) to 3.6 (24) victory.
At the halfway point of the season, St Kilda sits third on the ladder, but the Saints will need to bring their best in the back half of the season as they look to challenge the competition juggernaut in Collingwood and the in-form Tigers.
St Kilda face Essendon at 11am at the Boroondara Sports Complex on Sunday 8 July.