Century so close

INSPIRING: Millicent's Gene Robinson has provided plenty of scoring power for the Saints this season.

By Trevor Jackson

THE latest coronavirus restrictions to hit South Australia again put football and netball on hold around the Limestone Coast region.

Not only have the competitions suffered, but also the top players in the leagues.

One such player is Millicent’s Gene Robinson, who is now unlikely to reach the magical 100 goals for the Western Border Football season before the finals arrive.

There was little doubt Robinson would have reached the milestone, considering he currently sits on 72 goals, but that now looks a long way off.

To put it in context, the Mid South East leading goal kicker – Kalangadoo’s Michael Krieger – sits on 46, while in the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara league, Padthaway’s Tobin Cox leads with 49.

While the restrictions have now lifted, there will be no football this weekend and that 100-goal milestone is a distant thought.

Robinson has been outstanding for the Saints this season.

Three times he has kicked 10 or more goals, with a high of 13 against East Gambier back in Round 10.

The Saints chalked up a comfortable victory that day, with Robinson 10 goals clear of his nearest teammate Frazer Bradley.

Prior to that he kicked 10 against Casterton Sandford in Round 7, plus another 10 against West Gambier in Round 3 when the Saints could only put on 11 major scores in the victory.

Millicent has been somewhat of a surprise package this season, currently in second place behind South Gambier, with seven wins and four losses.

The Demons have lost just one game – to Millicent.

If the COVID-19 pandemic does provide a chance to play finals football, the Saints are certainly in the conversation.

Their win against South would provide some confidence going forward.

It was not too long ago when the Saints were in the wilderness for more than 30 years, but that changed under the tutelage of coach Clint Gallio in 2018, when Millicent defeated East Gambier by just four points at McDonald Park in an entertaining grand final.

He would surely love to add another flag to his resume and appears to have the players to do the job.

In their recent 106-28 drubbing of the Demons, Robinson only kicked five goals, but was joined by six other individual goal kickers.

Sam Willis is another threat in front of goals and while he only has 13 for the season, can certainly stand up when needed.

Jacob Carger, Bradley, Caleb Williams and Mitchell Reilly are all capable of kicking goals, which provides the Saints with plenty of firepower up forward.

Against the powerhouse Demons last time the two met, Millicent was also able to close down South’s forward line to stay well ahead of the ladder-leaders.

Even Demon coach Brayden Kain was left goal-less in the big defeat.

It will be all about performing on the big stage and if the Saints can make it to the final game, anything is possible.

While the WBFL has taken a big hit this season, as the restrictions ease in the coming weeks, there is certainly plenty to look forward to as the finals fast approach.