By Colin MacGillivray
KILMORE’S triumphant return to the football field was cut sadly short after its Northern league division three game against Lalor was called off early in the third quarter on Saturday.
An ambulance was called to Lalor Reserve after one of the Bloods’ players hit his head on the ground and was knocked out.
Lalor asked to abandon the match thereafter, which Kilmore agreed to.
The Blues, who were leading 9.6 (60) to 0.6 (6) at the time, were awarded a win and four premiership points.
Kilmore coach Nathan Phillips said it was disappointing not to be able to play a full game but the health of the players was the main priority.
He said he had been impressed with what his side showed prior to the injury.
“In the first quarter we played pretty well. We were kicking into a five or six-goal breeze at a guess, and we kicked five goals into it, so the boys worked hard and executed our game plan to perfection,” he said.
“In the second quarter we went away from that a little bit even though we kicked three in that quarter.
“We wasted the breeze a little bit, and then at the start of the third we came out the way we did in the first quarter and were looking pretty good. Keeping them goalless up to the point where we stopped the game was a good effort.”
Phillips praised onballer Chris Barton, who he said ‘had his own footy’ during the game.
Barton finished with four goals to his name despite the truncated game.
“He worked really hard defensively, which has probably been one of the things that he could have improved on in his game to this point of the year,” Phillips said.
“He was working back and picking up possessions in the back half and then working hard to give us another option up forward as well.”
Fellow onballer Chris Jackson also impressed, while defenders Kieran Moran and Daniel Matthew were able to pinpoint targets when rebounding from Kilmore’s back half.
Phillips said many of the players had either run or ridden bikes on Sunday to make up for the shortfall in game time.
With matches against Mernda and Old Eltham Collegians to come and a top-two finish still a possibility, he said it was crucial the players maintained their edge.
“We’ve got to be ready for Mernda, because the last time we played them they didn’t go away. They’ve got a young side that doesn’t give up, so we’ll just hope the half a game after a few weeks off is enough,” he said.
“We need to win the next two games to give ourselves any chance of finishing top two.”
In other results at the weekend Laurimar saw off a determined Old Eltham outfit to win 9.11 (65) to 6.9 (45), while Mernda nearly earned a triple-digit victory against Reservoir in an 18.14 (122) to 4.3 (27) rout.
The Power will host Lalor on Saturday, while the Blues will travel to take on the Devils.