By Colin MacGillivray
NOT often does a 152-point win leave a football team with room for improvement, but Kilmore coach Nathan Phillips believes that is the case for his side.
The Blues thoroughly outperformed Reservoir in a 25.20 (170) to 3.0 (18) win on the road, but Phillips said a sluggish start and some persistent skill errors showed his side still had work to do.
Reservoir, which this year recorded its first senior win since 2017, shocked Kilmore with two early first-quarter majors on their home ground before the Blues kicked into action.
The visitors booted six goals in each of the first three quarters and seven in the last, with swingman Grant Paxton relishing his time in the forward line with five goals and Kilmore’s midfield brigade dominant.
Phillips estimated gun onballer Chris Ryall had at least a dozen clearances along with two goals, while Chris Barton kicked four majors and the likes of Luke Chapman, Leigh Irons and Mick Marrett found plenty of the ball.
Young ruckman Mark Cameron, in just his second senior game, earned Phillips’ praise for winning his match-up with Reservoir ruck James Voros in the absence of the injured Mick McCulloch.
Phillips said his side still had work to do but was pleased to bank percentage with a big win.
“A little bit of execution at times hurt us, and our intent to move the footy in the way we wanted to,” he said.
“We’ve got to tidy up our possession a little bit and make sure we hit kicking targets and our handballs keep the flow going forward instead of halting our forward progression.
“It’s division three football so nobody is going to hit targets with 100 per cent efficiency, but we’ve just got to keep working at it.”
Phillips praised Paxton and Bailey Taylor-Egan for working hard all day to present the Kilmore midfielders with targets.
With Hayden Phillips and Scott Swindells looking likely to return from injury in time for Saturday’s home match against Heidelberg West, he said the Blues would have a tough time at the selection table.
“‘Pacco’ kicked five goals, and him and Bailey gave us a lot of options with their leads up forward,” he said.
“When [Reservoir] sent a couple back behind the pill they were able to continue leading to the right spots and meeting the footy one-on-one. It gave us somewhere to kick to, which was good.
“The boys did nothing wrong to suggest that we necessarily need to change the line-up, so it’s going to be a tough call on Thursday.”
Whittlesea played in a division one Anzac Day clash against Hurstbridge yesterday afternoon.
The match was still in progress when the Review went to press. See online for more on the game.