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RDFNL: Heath Shaw visits Wallan

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Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis has worked as a journalist at the North Central Review since 2022, with a particular focus on the City of Whittlesea and stories for the Whittlesea Review. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communications majoring in journalism and focuses on politics, community, and health with the occasional niche sports story finding its way in front of her.

Riddell District Football Netball League (RDFNL) kicked off at the weekend, with all teams returning to play after taking the King’s Birthday break. 

Loyal Wallan supporters walked through the Greenhill Reserve gates, knowing former AFL player Heath Shaw was in the lineup for Wallan’s home game against Kyneton. 

The hype for the former AFL player – who played for Collingwood Football Club and the Greater Western Sydney Giants – matched the game, as both sides took the field with ambition after returning from the break.

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Most kicks in the first quarter were behinds from both sides, but a few more behinds and goals from Wallan placed the side in front, with an eight-point lead. 

Kyneton, a new side in competition this season, returned the firing spirit, kicking the first goal in the second quarter, including three more and a behind to make up for the first quarter.

At that point of time, Wallan was still in front, but Kyneton brought on the challenge for the side, with only four points behind at the end of the second quarter. 

The Magpies put a stop to the challenge during the last two quarters which led the side to be victorious with an 94-46 win.

Assistant Coach Spencer Mathieson said Wallan responded well after half time.

“I thought Kyneton were playing better footy than us in the first half, but we lifted after half time and had 17 scoring shots and won the game by 48 points,” he said. 

“We responded well after half time, had more contributors, and were pleased to win.

“The club were lucky enough to have Heath Shaw play for us which was a great experience for the boys and a great day for the club. 

“Next week we play Riddell away who are on top and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Wallan is still third on the ladder under Romsey who also had another win at the weekend but experienced a struggling start against Diggers Rest.

The Redbacks fell to Diggers’ dominance in the first quarter, only producing three behinds and a goal at the end of the first quarter.

It was not until the second quarter Romsey put on a battle, reclaiming the game with a six-point lead.

Romsey were unstoppable in the last quarter, producing all the kicks while Diggers Rest were powerless, struggling to add to the scoreboard.

Romsey took home a 47-79 win and will host Kyneton in round 10 this weekend.

Lancefield did not meet its target to take home a win against Riddell – a side that is currently on top of the leaderboard.

The opening minutes of the first quarter were quite slow, with only Riddell kicking two goals, and a behind from Lancefield.

The game picked up within the second quarter, but once again Lancefield could only make a behind.

Lancefield tweaked its football in the third quarter, showing improvement with four goals, however Riddell claimed the 86-33 win.

Netball

After a well-deserved break, Wallan assembled another win against Kyneton on Saturday, 51-40.

Wallan Coach Lucas Bennett-Hullin said newcomers Kyneton played a similar game to Wallan.

“It was a tough battle for three terms on Saturday, we were fortunate to have an incredibly strong first quarter that set us up for the game,” he said.

“Maeve Donegan continued her great shooting and captain Genevieve Carboon led from the front in the midcourt to secure the win.”

Adjacent to the Romsey footballers, Romsey netballers were also in high spirits with an 48-64 win against Diggers Rest.

Elsewhere, Lancefield was not far from the winning side, taking a five-point loss to Riddell.

In round ten, Wallan will travel to Riddell while Lancefield will go to Melton, and Romsey will host Kyneton.

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