Lancefield player Jay Russell chases the ball during the team’s tough Riddell District Football Netball League outing against Diggers Rest on Saturday. The Tigers went down by 180 points.

By Tricia Mifsud

A FIVE-goal final quarter for Romsey fought off a gruelling challenge from Melton Centrals to secure a 36-point win on the road at the weekend.

Competition was tight from the get-go, but an inaccurate performance in the first quarter by the home side allowed the Redbacks to take a nine-point lead into quarter time.

Romsey’s senior coach Paul Kennedy said his side was able to take advantage of its opportunities in the first quarter but then let them slip, going into the main break, trailing by one point.

“I think the first quarter was pretty even. We capitalised on our opportunities whereas Melton didn’t make the most of their opportunity in front of goal,” he said.

“We started the second quarter really well, kicked a couple of goals and looked like we were really on, then the game turned on its head and they dominated the next 15 minutes and went in front by a point at half time.”

The Redbacks entered the second half making some positional changes and reclaimed the game on their own terms.

At three-quarter time, Romsey held a 12-point lead, before dominating the fourth term and recording a 12.9 (81) to 6.9 (45) win.

Kennedy said it could have been a larger defeat if Romsey had been more accurate in front of goal.

“We missed a few goals we should have scored … missed about three or four sitters from about 20 [metres] out. We did all the hard work to get it there and didn’t quite finish it,” he said.

“We could have won by a bit more if we had been more accurate.”

With several injuries particularly to its forward players, Romsey has had to rely on the versatility of its players to move forward when required, and the weekend’s match was no different.

“We mixed it up a fair bit and it was pleasing to see, especially the way we moved the ball in the second half. They’re very talented players and they love the challenge … I think they enjoyed the change up,” Kennedy said.

“We made a few positional changes and just had to stay positive and get the game back on our terms in the second half. We pretty much had a brand-new forward line at the weekend, and it was a great effort with nine individual goal scorers.”

Aaron Paterson led the Redbacks with three goals, while Joel De Haas booted two. Seven further individuals – including Corey Pertzel and Michael Tinkler, whom Kennedy praised for their efforts – added to Romsey’s 12-goal haul.

Kennedy said it was pleasing to see the efforts from the players to perform wherever they were positioned and was confident that, should there be list difficulties again this season, all positions on the ground could be filled.

“We had to send defenders forward … Michael Tinkler and Aiden Smith, who played in defence all year, moved forward as well as Corey Pertzel who has moved around the forward and back,” Kennedy said.

“That’s what were going to have to do over the next few weeks, because we’re not getting anyone back in the short-term future; the injuries we have [mean players will be out for] five to six weeks.

“When we get the list back together, if someone isn’t playing well forward, we’ve got options to move around.”

Lancefield again struggled at the weekend, hosting Diggers Rest at home, while Wallan had a bye.

After the Tigers kicked two goals in the first quarter, Diggers Rest kept Lancefield goalless for the remainder of the game to record a 30.14 (194) to 2.2 (14) win.

This weekend, Wallan hits the road in a top-of-the-ladder clash against Diggers Rest, Lancefield will host Melton Centrals, while Romsey hosts Woodend-Hesket.

Lancefield A Grade netballers had a fight on their hands against Diggers Rest on Saturday, losing 42-62.

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