by Nick Kossatch
AUSSIE RULES: A point to Bianca Box in the dying stages of the final minor round women's match between BITS Saints and Gladstone Mudcrabs drew the game in a frantic finish.
With the Saints leading by two points, their bitter rivals locked the ball in their forward half and Mudcrab Box found some space to kick the leveller with scores at 1.2 (8) apiece at full time.
In what was BITS' ruckman Mirrin Mizz' Rashleigh's final game, her team responded after Mudcrabs' Emily Kirkwood snapped the game's first goal.
The Saints' Gabriele Mottershead got was penultimately the final goal of the game.
"Mizz' rucked manfully against all-round rising star and Gladstone Port City Power basketball player Laken Paitai.
Rashleigh said it has been a great journey since joining BITS Saints a few years ago.
And now was the right time with her 'banged up' knees.
"I have been playing for the BITS Saints for the last three years and my dad used to play for Muddies and BITS back in the day," Rashleigh said.
"I used to play backyard footy and I learned that there was a women's footy club, so I came down and gave it a shot and glad to have joined the BITS family."
She added that she had come a long way under the guidance of three different coaches.
"They have taught me a lot and it's sad to say goodbye," Rashleigh said.
"It would have been good to come away with a win, but a draw is better than a loss and can't be too sad about that."
Saints led for most of the match and were well served by Rashleigh, Gabrielle Gilmore, Jacqueline Pugh, Rebecca Fitton and Madison Hogan.
Gladstone Mudcrabs will now face Rockhampton Kangaroos in this Saturday's first semi-final.
Coach Aaron Monish said it's great preparation for finals.
"The last two weeks have been close games of footy to prepare us for finals," he said.
"I was pretty happy with the way they went."
Best Mudcrabs were Kirkwood, Chelsea Smith, hard-tackling Ebony Griffin, Paitai and Malinda Aeschlimman.
BITS Saints 1.2 (8) drew with Gladstone Mudcrabs 1.2 (8)