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RDFNL: Fire on the field for Wallan footballers

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Emily Waite
Emily Waitehttps://ncreview.com.au/
Emily Waite has been the Editor of the North Central Review since late April, 2024. With a particular focus on delivering community driven stories, Emily has been responsible for implementing the new 'Words of wisdom' segment, and regularly reaches out to residents both young and old to share their stories with the paper. Emily graduated with high distinctions in a Bachelor of Music from JMC Academy in 2022, and graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Writing and Literature from Deakin University in 2023.

It was a fiery game on the Riddells Creek Recreation field at the weekend, with the Wallan Seniors going head-to-head with the Riddell Seniors in a blazing match that saw many goals and equally as many tackles.

Riddell’s Dylan Podolczak kicked off the first quarter with a goal four minutes into the game, followed by four behinds from Wallan and a goal from Matthew Perri, desperate to even out the score early into the game. But another goal and two behinds from Riddell put the team ahead at the siren of the first quarter, with the scoreboard showing 14-11.

The second quarter saw Wallan score the first goal, followed by two back-to-back goals by Chris Stewart and Max Russell, jumping ahead with the score 15-30. Feeling the heat, Riddell and Wallan collided with several scuffles that not even the cold breeze could cool down, with many calls from the sidelines of ‘Leave it!’ as arguments among the teams broke out.

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But the scuffles must have awoken a fire in the belly of Riddell, as the team responded with three back-to-back goals kicked by Jacob Chahine, Matthew Panuccio, and Dean Galea, ending the quarter with another close score, 33-30.

Four minutes into the third quarter, Riddell’s Matthew Panuccio kicked the first goal, followed by a behind from both teams. Unfortunately, Wallan would not score for the remainder of the quarter, with Riddell dominating the field with four back-to-back goals from Dylan Tarczon, Matthew Panuccio – his third for the game -, Jack Hammerling, and Kamen Ogilvie. The siren sounded with Riddell more than doubling Wallan’s score, 64-31.

Not yet ready to throw in the towel, Wallan entered the final quarter with five attempts at goals, though only one went through the goal posts. With the score 64-41 at the midway mark, the last quarter was proving to be a difficult one, but Wallan fans held out hope, with the occasional encouraging cheer sounding from the sideline. Riddell’s Kamen Ogilvie kicked his second goal – and the team’s final goal – for the quarter with six minutes to go, and Wallan responded with two goals in a last-ditch attempt to bring the score back up, but it was too late. With a behind from Riddell, the top of the ladder team concluded the game with a strong 71-53, proving once again that they are the team to beat.

Wallan’s Assistant Coach Spencer Mathieson noted the heat on the field, stating the match was a ‘very competitive game’.

“We did play some good footy but Riddell did win the third quarter by five goals, which was a big difference in the game,” he said.

“We couldn’t question the effort of our boys, but Riddell just had a little more polish on the day.”

Best players for Wallan were Patrick Mahoney, Corey Viani, Hayden Gill, Sean Morris, Owen Fowler, and Matthew Perri.

Sitting at fourth on the ladder, Wallan will play Romsey, who sits third, next week at an away game for round 11 of the season.

Elsewhere, the Romsey Seniors lost against Kyneton in a close match scoring 58 to 63, with Lancefield also defeated in a tight game against Melton Centrals, 35 to 33.

Netball

Wallan netballers were put to a test in a game against Riddell at the weekend in the RDFNL.

The side, who only had one loss in round four, kept its winning streak after exceptional shooting from Wallan’s Rebekah Konstantopoulos with 19 goals and Maeve Donegan giving 25, with plenty of court assistance from the rest of the team.

Down in Romsey, the Redbacks also had a great shooting game, claiming a 45-30 win against Kyneton.

Both sides kept their eyes on the ball, with Romsey’s goal shooter Hope Hamilton providing 33 points, while Charlize Bellette produced 10 goals under goal attack and goal shooter position.

Elsewhere, Lancefield just missed out on a win, with a 50-43 loss to Melton Centrals.

Despite the seven-point loss, the side hit another 40 point game, with several players contributing to the score including Darcee Ellard, Tarnee Hammond, and Shanae Brundell.

Entering round 11 this weekend in the competition, Wallan will go to Romsey and Lancefield will host Woodend Hesket.

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