PORT Saints can now turn their attention to the Football Mid North Coast Premier League finals after securing second spot on Saturday.
In an entertaining affair, Saints accounted for their Kempsey namesakes with a 3-2 win that ensures they will have two bites of the cherry.
Saints appeared in control of the match after Ty Marchant and Anthony Jamieson found the back of the net within minutes of each other.
Coach John Goodman said they could now afford to rest some of their younger players to freshen them up before the finals.
“The early goal settled us down and we’re now cemented in second spot and no one can get us with two rounds remaining,” Goodman said.
“We can relax and try a few different things we couldn’t earlier in the season.”
Kempsey pulled a goal back before half-time to give themselves a chance in the second half, but Sam Bailey restored Port’s two-goal lead shortly after the resumption.
Goodman saved special praise for defender Dan Gardner who played a full game of reserve grade and then came off the bench in the second half of first grade.
It came after a concerning accident which saw Marchant stretchered from the field and taken to hospital in an ambulance after an innocuous fall.
“Ty got whiplash and then was taken off so he might have to sit out the next couple of weeks to recover from that,” Goodman said.
“He’s okay now, but everyone looked after him when it happened.”
A mouth-watering semi-final against Port United looms large should results fall the right way over the remaining two rounds.
“Looking at the table and I reckon we’ll play United which I’m okay with,” Goodman said.