By Colin MacGillivray
Wallan bounced back from only its second loss of the Riddell District Football Netball League season with one of its biggest wins, showing it remains among the league’s elite.
The Magpies overpowered Melton Central in a dominant 23.18 (156) to 7.6 (48) display, racking up 16 goals to four after half time to secure its third triple-digit victory of the season.
Wallan assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said following a disappointing loss to Riddell in round 11, it fell back on its greatest strength – defensive pressure.
“We were really good defensively and kept them to three goals before half time, which set us up in the second half,” he said.
“In the second quarter we defended well when they had the wind and made sure they only kicked one goal for the quarter. We won the quarter by four goals.
“In the third quarter we cashed in with the wind where we didn’t in the first quarter. It was a very good quarter – we scored just about every time we went in.
“After we didn’t play to our best against Riddell it was good to bounce back and get a bit of confidence and reinforce that we’re going okay.”
Also pleasing for Mathieson was the fact that Wallan did not need to lean heavily on its star forward tandem of Matt Perri and Corey Grindlay to kick a winning score.
While Perri and Grindlay kicked three apiece, they were among a host of multiple-goal kickers, with Jake Layley, four, Steven Boyall and Sean Morris, three, and Kale and Rhys Frost, two, sharing the load.
“Everyone chipped in, which was good. It means we’re not as predictable when you’ve got an even spread of goal kickers – it’s harder for the opposition to defend,” he said.
Morris had a day out playing across half forward and in the midfield, and was named best on ground, while Layley and Boyall joined onballers Corey Viani and Ricky Schraven and ruckman Patrick Mahoney on the best players list.
Mathieson said Wallan would not take struggling opponent Western Rams lightly this week before a well-timed bye.
“We’ve got to continue to try to put in a four-quarter performance – it doesn’t matter who we play. That and defending properly are the things we pride ourselves on,” he said.
Romsey was no match for Riddell, going down 5.4 (34) to 11.18 (84) on Saturday.
The Redbacks led by a point at quarter time but managed only 2.1 thereafter as the visiting Bombers ran away with the game in the second half.
Michael Tinkler was solid as ever in defence, while Nathan Tessari, Dean Walsh and Corey Pertzel were among the other standouts.
Romsey has a bye in round 13, while Lancefield will return from a bye of its own to play an away game against Melton Centrals.
Wallan’s success was not limited to the football field, with its A Grade netball side romping home in a 58-34 win at Greenhill Reserve.
The B Grade side was not as successful, going down 22-45, while the C Grade team could not do enough to overcome the Blues in a 21-29 loss.
Romsey’s A Grade side had a tough day, losing to Riddell 22-63, but its B Grade side relished a 39-24 victory against the Bombers. C Grade was unable to keep pace with Riddell, going down 10-45.