By Jackson Russell
Wallan scored its first senior football finals win in 18 years, running away with a 45-point win over Riddell in their Riddell District Football Netball League elimination final on Sunday.
The Magpies will return to Romsey Park for the first semi-final, taking on a Redbacks outfit that’s coming off a first-week loss.
Both Wallan and Riddell came out of the gates firing on all cylinders looking to set the tone for the day.
Kicking with the wind, Wallan took a 10-point lead into the first break after a five goal to three first term.
The Magpies picked up the intensity in the second term, kicking another five goals while holding the Bombers to two goals, to extend their lead to 34 points at half-time.
Riddell tried to make a last-ditch run at stealing the win, closing the margin to 15 points in the third term after adding four goals to their tally while holding Wallan to just one major.
The Magpies only conceded one more goal while booting five more to run away with the win.
Wallan assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said the Magpies were after a good start and received just that.
“Riddell have started very well the last two meetings we’ve had. To the lads’ credit, we won the first term into the breeze which help set us up,” he said.
“After quarter time I thought we controlled the game. We had 27 scoring shots to 12 and ran out convincing winners.”
Mathieson said the league’s leading goalkicker Matt Perri led from the front for the Magpies with four goals.
“Some of the better players were Michael Mannix, Ricky Schraven, Chris Barton, Corey Grindlay, Sean Morris and Matt Perri but today we had 22 contributors in the club’s first finals win for 18 years,” he said.
“The lads who represented us should be very proud of their efforts.”
Wallan’s reserves also started their finals campaign on the right foot with a 45-point win over Diggers Rest in their qualifying final and will take on Rupertswood at Clarke Oval, Sunbury on Saturday.
The Magpies’ under 19s weren’t as successful, getting knocked out of the finals with a 34-point loss to Woodend Hesket in their elimination final.