Wallan reserves into grand final

Wallan’s Reserves footballers set the tone for the club’s preliminary final weekend with a convincing 31-point win over reigning premiers Diggers Rest.

The Magpies advance to the Riddell Football District Netball League Reserves grand final against Rupertswood at Sunbury’s Clarke Oval on Sunday.

The win gave the Magpies a measure of revenge ahead of the grand final, toppling the same side that prevented them from winning the flag last year.

Sunday’s decider will be the third grand final in a row for Wallan’s seconds after unsuccessful attempts in 2017 and 2018.

The Magpies were in control all day, holding Diggers Rest goalless for three quarters to lead by 40 points at three-quarter time.

While the result was virtually beyond doubt, the Burras didn’t lie down, kicking three goals to none in the final term but it wasn’t enough and the Magpies booked their place in the decider.

Wallan coach Matt Bell said the Magpies’ defence was key to the win.

“Our defence was pretty strong for the whole game,” he said.

“To keep a side like Diggers goalless for three quarters is a huge effort.

“They probably got a couple cheap ones in the last there when we took our foot off the gas but overall a good four quarter effort.”

Bell said Brok Whiteman stood out, Liam Birch again played well as he had all finals series and Brendon Meroli was strong across half back.

He said the Magpies’ defence would be crucial again in the grand final.

“There’s so doubt we have to bring the defensive pressure. They beat us two weeks ago, we just lacked pressure. The Sunbury ground suits them with their speed so defensive pressure is a must for us,” he said.

“The boys are going in with confidence. We were undefeated all year until Rupertswood got over the line two weeks ago so we know anything less than our best won’t be good enough.

“Losing the last two grand finals has given the boys a bit of motivation to make sure we get over the line this year.”