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RDFNL footy season back with a bang

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

The 2024 Riddell District Football Netball League, RDFNL, season is officially underway as all teams took to the field for the first time on Saturday.

Romsey chalked up an impressive result as they travelled to Wallan in a change-up from previous years, taking down the home side 7.9 (51) to 9.8 (62) in a contest that proved to be a black-and-white affair for both teams.

The Redbacks finished the first half with two goals to Wallan’s six, however a third-quarter stomp had them in front off a five-goal effort that kept the hosts to just two behinds.

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The visitors kicked another two in the final quarter while the Magpies added one, allowing the Redbacks to take home an 11-point win to get their season rolling.

Romsey coach Justin Sherman said his side did well to rectify a number of the early shortcomings after the halftime break.

“We just weren’t playing our way in the first half, we were just allowing easy clearances out the middle and that put our backs under the pump,” he said.

“We came in at halftime and got our message across about getting the contest right because I think once you get that right then the backs can start anticipating and getting off the chain and the forwards tend to lead that little bit harder.

“The whole general ball movement and flow gets going from when the contest gets right … and I thought the second half was fantastic.”

Drawing Sherman’s praise was ruck Justin Waldron who ‘toiled away all day’ against Wallan’s ranks, as well as Chris Petroro on the wing who put in a solid four-quarter performance.

Callum Sankey on ball was also one of Romsey’s top performers, while newcomer Ash Millane scored a goal on debut.

For Wallan, it was Jacob Langborne leading the way with two goals, followed up by one from brother Callum alongside the likes of Sean Morris and Corey Viani.

“All in all, to play two quarters and come away with the win gives plenty of upside and growth and our team, so we’re looking forward to keep developing that over the coming weeks,” Sherman said.

“To Wallan’s credit, they took [the game] away from us in the first half … the fact that we haven’t won over at Wallan for a long time gives the guys a bit of belief for the hard work and effort they’ve put in over the preseason.”

Elsewhere, Lancefield hosted 2023 premiers Diggers Rest and largely held its own for the first half until the visitors were able to break away in the third quarter.

Although there was a mere 10-point difference at halftime, the Burras kicked four in each of the final two quarters to seal the deal on the Tigers, who only scored two in the same period.

Finishing 7.3 (45) to 14.10 (94), Lancefield’s James Falcone pencilled in two goals while Rhys Barber, Ryan Johnson, and Alex Simpson each contributed one.

RDFNL newcomer Kyneton also debuted on Good Friday with a formidable showing, defeating 2023 runner-up Woodend-Hesket 13.11 (89) to 5.6 (36).

This weekend Wallan will travel to play the Burras while Romsey hosts the Melton Centrals, and Lancefield has a bye.


Wallan’s A Grade netballers got their season off to the start they were hoping for with a 44 to 41 win over Romsey in a very close game.

While Maeve Donegan on 30 and Hope Hamilton on 33 led their respective team’s goalscoring efforts, Magpies coach Lucas Bennett-Hullin said it was the strong performances of each player on court that made for an intense match.

“It’s always good to get that first round out of the way because you don’t know what everyone’s got and the rumour mills are swirling, so we try to focus on what we’re doing and put our game plan together and it worked perfectly for us,” he said.

“It’s really hard to pick [the best players] because everyone played well, I think in both teams every single player stepped up. They each did their job and combined they put in a first-rate performance.”

Wallan will face Diggers Rest this weekend, a team that lost to the refreshed Lancefield side at the weekend under the guidance of new coach Ciara Stewart.

Stewart and the Tigers hit the ground running on Saturday with a 54 to 33 victory over the Burras, an achievement that is already good progress towards the preseason objective of four wins for the year and a significant step up from 2023.

Newcomers Karlee Bruno and Eve Trainor were named among Lancefield’s best on the day, while Tarnee Hammond led the goalscoring on 23.

Bennett-Hullin praised Stewart’s immediate impact in securing a win in her first match with the Tigers.

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