By Colin MacGillivray
Wallan is readying itself for a vital Northern Football Netball League game against Riddell this weekend after dispatching Romsey on Saturday.
The Magpies set up their 16.18 (114) to 8.8 (56) win against the Redbacks with a stifling defensive performance in the first half, allowing the visitors only four scoring shots before the long break.
Corey Baker and Matt Bonello typified the efforts of a dominant Wallan back six, restricting their opponents’ scoring opportunities and rebounding the ball from defence.
In the midfield Steven Boyall continued his stellar run of form with a best-on-ground performance, while Daniel Couwenberg added plenty of outside run, and spearhead Matt Perri kicked six goals up forward.
Romsey was best served by big man Nathan Hoy, who kicked four goals, while veteran defender Michael Tinkler played a customarily stout game and Daniel Paterson and Corey Pertzel never stopped trying.
Wallan assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said the team was hard to beat when it produced a strong defensive effort.
“We kept them to four scoring shots in the first half, which really set us up for the day,” he said.
“When we play well defensively, we usually play well overall, so that’s always a focus for us. I thought it was very good on the weekend.
“[Steven Boyall] is having a superb year in the midfield. He got a lot of the footy and won a lot of clearances for us.
“When you win, you have a lot of contributors who played well.”
Mathieson said this weekend’s game against the Bombers would tell Wallan plenty about where it stood in the competition’s hierarchy.
“Playing Riddell away is a huge game for us. They’re half a game ahead of us, so how we go against Riddell and all the other top-five sides is going to determine where we finish,” he said.
“We know they’re good and really hard to beat at home. They’ve got a couple of players who didn’t play against us when we played in round four and they’ll be playing this week, so that’ll make it more interesting.”
Romsey will turn its eyes towards a clash with the winless Western Rams this Saturday, seeking a percentage-boosting win to keep pace with fourth-placed Macedon in the finals race.
Lancefield had a tough day out on Saturday, slumping to its third triple-digit loss of the season in a 6.9 (45) to 23.7 (145) drubbing at the hands of Macedon.
After a promising first quarter in which the visiting Tigers had four scoring shots to their opponents’ five, Lancefield fell away, conceding 18 goals to four for the rest of the match.
The ever-reliable Jay Russell put in another strong effort in the Lancefield midfield and also kicked two goals, while Reuben Schembri, Harrison Taylor, Michael Conlan and Alex Simpson were also among the best.
Wallan’s A Grade netballers matched the feats of the club’s football side by easily dispatching Romsey on Saturday.
The Magpies solidified their position in the top four with a 45-14 victory, and can further shore up a finals berth when they take on the mid-table Riddell Bombers this weekend.
Romsey is still in search of its first win as it prepares to play the Western Rams, while Lancefield will look to shake off a tough 44-62 loss to Macedon ahead of its home game against Woodend-Hesket.