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RDFNL: Diggers Rest dug Wallan footballers

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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.

The weekend was a medley of losses and wins in round 12 of the Riddell District Netball Football League (RDFNL).

Under better weather conditions, Wallan was in position to embark on its upcoming challenge, hosting Diggers Rest, who are currently second on the ladder behind Riddell, while Wallan is fourth below Romsey. 

The football was going both directions in the first quarter, with Diggers and Wallan equally firing goals and behinds to make up 15 points, which meant the game was still in fate’s hands.

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It took a while for either side to make any form of score in the second quarter up until Diggers kicked a behind during the eight-minute mark, followed by two goals, and another behind between Wallan’s own – with the final score of the second quarter at 18-29.

A chance to shift the game’s direction, the Magpies made a difference within the third quarter, ending the quarter with two-points down.

But fate landed in Digger’s hands after all, with the final result as 47-79.

Assistant coach Spencer Mathieson said Diggers Rest thoroughly deserved the win at the weekend.

“[Diggers Rest], they were better for longer than us, they executed and had a bit more polish on the day,” he said.

“We had a good third term and got back in the contest. Two points down at three-quarter time, but we gave up six goals in the last quarter which was a disappointing finish and unlike us.

“Our better players were Michael Mannix, Corey Viani, Sean Morris, [and] Lachlan Inness.”

Entering round 13 this weekend, Mathieson said he looked forward to the game against Woodend-Hesket at home.

“We need to be better at home. Woodend have got some players back and their results have improved so it’s going to be a good contest. I can’t wait to see how we go,” he said.

In other football news, Romsey played away against Melton, with both teams having a slow start.

The Redbacks were the only side to put a figure on the scoreboard.

Second quarter was still lacking on goals, however the game progressed when Melton scored two goals, helping the overall score to reach 12-14 – with Romsey still ahead.

The two-point advantage went a long way for Romsey in the third quarter, performing five goals.

Romsey pushed its 27-point lead from the third quarter into a 32-78 win in the last quarter.

The Redbacks will have a bye in round 13, while the Lancefield Seniors will return from its bye and head up to Diggers Rest this Saturday.

Netball

Wallan was on top of its game in the last term to make the 52-50 win against Diggers Rest.

In round 12, Wallan had some players out, giving the opportunity for the Under 19 players to take the court.

The Under 19s got the real A Grade experience, as both teams were under pressure.

At three-quarter time, Wallan coach Lucas Bennett-Hullin reminded the team about lifting intensity, and getting the turnovers down the defence end – which the side acted on.

Wallan’s centre player Maddi Wallmeyer said the team made a real effort to make a return in the last term.

“We made a real effort, team effort to do that all the way down the court and got a couple of good turnovers and then made sure we were patient in attack,” she said.

Bennett-Hullin acknowledged the endeavours of the team, including the Under 19s.

“It was such a great game … and their poise throughout the game was, especially in the last quarter, it was exceptional,” he said.

“Big call out to Haylie Baker coming from Under 19s to play goalkeeper and Natalie McDonald, who played in goal shooter really well.”

Elsewhere, Romsey was hesitant on the win, allowing Melton Centrals to be victorious with a 62-58 win.

Although the Redbacks took the loss, the ball kept going in the basket for players including Charlize Bellette with 28 goals, followed by 16 from Emma Grech and 14 from Hope Hamilton.

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