Players contest a loose ball during Lancefield’s loss to Woodend-Hesket on Saturday.

WALLAN got a wake-up call in Saturday’s surprising 26-point Riddell Football Netball League loss to Riddell, its second defeat of the season.

While the undermanned Magpies expected a challenge from the in-form Bombers, Wallan were unusually listless in the first half, conceding a run of five goals in the second quarter to go into the long break trailing 27-58.

While Wallan found form in the second half, kicking 5.7 to Riddell’s 5.2, the damage was already done.

Onballer Corey Viani was a standout for the visitors, while fellow midfielders Jake Layley and Daniel Couwenberg, ruckman Patrick Mahoney, utility Michael Mannix and defender Matt Bonello were also impressive.

Wallan assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said the first half lapse had cost Wallan, but the players would learn a valuable lesson.

“[Riddell] were on top in the midfield in the first half, so it meant their forwards got good service. Tim Walsh kicked six for them, and it’s going to be hard to win when an opposition player kicks six,” Mathieson said.

“We had a few players who didn’t play to their best, but we’ve got plenty of confidence and faith that they can bounce back.

“The message [after the game] was to keep the faith in what we’re doing and that one bad half doesn’t define our season – we’ve played a lot of good footy this year, so we’ve just got to bounce back.”

The opportunity to rebound will come in a home match against Melton Centrals at Greenhill Reserve on Saturday.

A bright spot for Wallan on the weekend was the debut of under 19 captain Callum Birch, and Mathieson said the Magpies’ youth movement would give supporters plenty of hope for the future.

“We could have a couple out [this week], so we’re going to be a pretty young side,” he said.

“Our under 19s and reserves keep winning, so they have to be rewarded. They’re putting pressure on the senior players with their form, so they can’t do much more than they’re doing.”

Elsewhere, Romsey bounced back with an 18.23 (131) to 0.6 (6) drubbing of Western Rams.

Led by an eight-goal performance from Dean Walsh, the Redbacks were far too strong, with Corey Pertzel, Michael Tinkler, Matt Burkett and Connor Lever also dominating.

Lancefield meanwhile failed to improve on a round one loss to Woodend-Hesket, going down 3.6 (24) to 17.7 (109) against the Hawks.

Forward Alexander Simpson played hard for the Tigers but a scoreless first quarter made it tough for his side from the start.

Reuben Schembri, Michael Conlon, Joe Slattery and Tyson Anderson, two goals, were other standouts.

Romsey will host Riddell this weekend, while Lancefield has a bye.

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