By Tricia Mifsud
WALLAN remains the team to beat after a 174-point belting of the Western Rams secured the Magpies top position on the Riddell District Football Netball League, RDFNL, senior ladder.
The Rams, currently sitting at the bottom of the ladder, recognised the challenge of travelling to Greenhill Reserve but were unable to stop the dominant Magpies from the get-go and went scoreless in the first term to Wallan’s 10.3.
Wallan’s reliable forwards kicked things off, with Matthew Perri leading the goal scoring in the first term with three goals, while the side had a further seven individual goal-scorers.
With Wallan lacking in its defensive pressure in the second term, the Rams fought back with the wind to their advantage and scored 3.4.
However Wallan won the quarter, with Corey Grindlay kicking four goals for the home side, and went into the main break ahead 89-22.
Wallan assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said the side needed a reminder to apply pressure on and off the ball and was able to steer back onto the right course in the second half.
“The Western Rams had a good second quarter but after half time we were very good and really got on top of them,” he said.
“There was a very strong wind and we kicked with it in the first quarter and started very well, so as a side we were happy with that.
“We just identified a few things that we could improve on from the second quarter and address in the second half, which we did. It was just more defensively we let them in a bit and weren’t as good without the ball.”
Like the opening term, Wallan again restricted the Rams to a goalless third term, and was able to score six goals of its own.
The fourth quarter sealed the deal for Wallan, coming home winners 31.20 (206) to 4.8 (32)
Mathieson commended the work of the team, noting the forwards’ teamwork and efforts from the midfield.
“We had plenty of contributors down forward and they were all good. Steven Boyall on ball and Daniel Couwenberg were all standouts and Patty Mahoney was back in the ruck and he was good as well,” he said.
Wallan has a bye this weekend, before a round eight battle with Diggers Rest, which Mathieson dubbed the premiership favourites.
With some players out sore, Mathieson and the coaching panel is hoping for at least one of the players to be fit enough to return.
“I reckon Diggers are the premiership favourites. The bye comes at a good time as we’ve got a few sore boys so were going to spend this weekend recovering and look forward to the challenge next week,” he said.
“Will Brock, Daniel Mackertich and Spencer Whittingham are currently sidelined. They could possibly come back, but we’re not too sure yet. We’ll see how they pull up over the next couple of weeks.”
In other results, Romsey secured a two-goal victory against Macedon, 12.10 (82) to 10.10 (70). Nathan Hoy led with three majors, while the Redbacks had a further seven goal scorers. Lancefield struggled against a strong Riddell, going down 7.3 (45) to 25.15 (165).
This weekend, Romsey travels to play Melton Centrals while Lancefield hosts the in-form Diggers Rest.