An injury to a rising star caused momentum to swing away from Mooroopna in the third quarter of its tight clash with Benalla.
Mooroopna’s teenage talent in Paigan Impey hit the court hard during the term, resulting in an ambulance being called.
With Impey taken to hospital in Wangaratta with a hip injury, the midcourter is recovering at home, but will have further scans on the injury, which is expected to keep her out for at least a couple of weeks.
The delay of about 15 minutes resulted in the game being switched to Benalla’s secondary court as the Saints started to creep closer to the Cats.
Eager to defeat Mooroopna after it was too strong in round one, the home side had the game back on their terms by the final break, despite still being behind.
‘‘(We) had to shift courts which gave us a chance to regroup and we went back out there and shot two goals and (the margin) was back to two at three-quarter-time,’’ Benalla coach Dylan Nexhip said.
‘‘We managed to really pull a big defensive effort and only let them score five goals.’’
The Saints put on eight goals in the final term as play was difficult on a wet court, with Nexhip pleased his side stayed calm to take the lead with 90 seconds left in the match.
‘‘We got to that stage in the last quarter when it was close (and) when in other games it has gone the other way, but we really dug deep and gritted our teeth,’’ he said.
Martine Rodger is back to making an impact in the senior side after missing five weeks with a finger injury.
In her second game back in the A-grade side, she was best-on-court for her side as she defied tight defence to shoot with accuracy.
In an important match for Benalla’s competition ranking, it boosted the Saints into fourth position while Mooroopna is two points outside the six.