Kilmore’s Scott Swindells, pictured earlier this season against Laurimar, booted four goals in his return from injury.

By Colin MacGillivray

A SHOWDOWN with Northern Football Netball League division three ladder leader South Morang awaits Kilmore after a scrappy but ultimately successful outing against Heidelberg West on Saturday.

The Blues welcomed the Hawks to JJ Clancy Reserve and got an early jump, kicking four goals to one to open up a 19-point advantage at the first break.

If not for some skill errors the home side could have been even further in front, but the Hawks began to claw their way back.

Heidelberg West had the run of play in the second term, registering six scoring shots to two, but an inaccurate 0.6 prevented the visitors from making any inroads.

The second half was an arm wrestle, with the Hawks kicking four goals to Kilmore’s two, but the home side did enough to hang on for an 8.6 (54) to 5.13 (43) win.

The Blues welcomed Scott Swindells back from injury, with the full forward booting 4.4 in an impressive return.

Centre half forward Bailey Taylor-Egan asserted his aerial dominance, finishing with 20 marks for the second straight week and booting three goals.

Midfielder Chris Ryall was a late withdrawal with illness, but Leigh Irons laid a gritty 16 tackles and Chris Jackson and Chris Barton had solid outings.

The ever-improving Ethan Derrick played his best senior game for Kilmore on a half-back flank and defender Steve McIntyre impressed onlookers with his willingness to give multiple efforts in a contest with his team hanging on in the last quarter.

Coach Nathan Phillips said his side would need to produce a better effort this week against South Morang, which held Reservoir scoreless in a 205-point win at the weekend.

“We just did enough to win, but I wasn’t overly happy with the way we went about it. We let them dictate terms a bit too much for my liking,” he said.

“[South Morang is] coming off a big win, so it’s definitely going to take our best footy to beat them.

“We’ll put some things in place to try to repel their style of footy and hope that gets us over the line.”

The Blues will be near full strength for the clash, with Ryall set to return along with ruckman Mick McCulloch, wingman Ciaran Barton and defender Daniel Matthew.

“We should be as close to full strength as we possibly can be, so there will definitely be no excuses,” Phillips said.

The Blues will return to JJ Clancy Reserve after Saturday’s away game at South Morang, with musician and former Kilmore player Matt Jennings to entertain onlookers from 7pm.

The event is open to the general public, with club officials encouraging people to attend.

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