LAKE WENDOUREE v REDAN
Lake Wendouree has booked a Ballarat Football League qualifying final match-up with reigning premier Bacchus Marsh.
Lakers ensured the duo will finish in the top two by running over Redan at Wendouree Reserve on Saturday.
Each had periods of domination in a physically-demanding encounter, but it was Lake Wendouree which had the last say with a five-goal last quarter.
Nathan Pring provided the point of difference in just his second game back for Lakers after a hamstring injury.
He needed only a handful of opportunities to have a major influence – kicking two goals and providing a series of assists to help Lucas Anderson to five majors and Tom Nijam to three.
Mindful of the damage Pring can cause, Redan coach Brendan Peace was pleased with the way the Lions kept the Lakers dynamo out of the game early.
However, when he did get off the chain in the second quarter Pring was the linchpin in Lake Wendouree getting some momentum.
Redan was not without its chances.
The Lions imposed themselves on the game in the opening quarter, kicking with a wind to lead by 28 points, and again in the third quarter had play on their terms with a fierce attack on the ball. Redan kicked five goals to one in that run of play.
This stunned Lake Wendouree into top gear, and with the midfield combination of Nick Peters, Steve Clifton and Ben Taylor consistently getting their hands on the ball Redan lost control.
Four goals in 10 minutes and it was Lakers’ day.
Lakers commitment to finally take a risk and take on the game was influential in the last-term charge.
It came after coach Tim Malone had called on his players to be brave and go direct. He again reinforced the message post-match.
Peace said pointed to basic errors as costing Redan dearly.
He said there was no questioning the intensity by the Lions, but some inexperience at key moments had hurt.
Peace said Lake Wendouree was ultimately able to open up the ground far too easily – a factor which gifted several easy goals on the overlap.
Redan under-18.5 player Lachlan McLean impressed with four goals in his senior debut, while Keenan Waterbury did his best to play hardball and Nathan Horbury worked diligently.
Lakers ruckman Arthur Armstrong will have an MRI on left shoulder. Redan onballer Dean Mathews suffered a broken nose.
Lake Wendouree 0.3, 7.11, 10.15, 15.19 (109)
Redan 4.7, 7.10, 12.12, 13.13 (91)
GOALS - Lake Wendouree: Lucas Anderson 5, Tom Nijam 3, Nathan Pring 2, Stephen Clifton 1, Ben Taylor 1, Jordan Alexander 1, Tim Malone 1, Sean Willmott 1. Redan - Lachlan McLean 4, Nathan Horbury 2, Damien Horbury 2, Mitchell Phelps 1, Ryan Waight 1, Tom Lamb 1, Nicholas Willox 1, Benjamin Smyth 1
BEST - Lake Wendouree: Nathan Pring, Nicholas Peters, Jordan Alexander, Stephen Clifton, Ashley Simpson, Angus Kirby. Redan: Keenan Waterbury, Nathan Horbury, Grant Bell, Jack Jess, Mitchell Phelps
EAST POINT v MELTON
Melton kept its Ballarat Football League finals hopes alive with a memorable come-from-behind eight-point win against East Point on Saturday.
The Bloods were in trouble when they trailed by 20 points midway through the second term – knowing a loss would put them out of finals contention.
However, they ran the game out better than the Kangaroos to create a mid-table gridlock.
Just percentage separates North Ballarat City, East Point, Melton South and Melton with two rounds to go.
Melton coach Brad Murphy touched on the importance of responding as it had with its back to the wall.
“To win that game of footy when nobody really gave us a chance, I’m super proud.
“We spoke at three quarter time about resilience and having our backs against the wall, so to be able to grind it out like that, it was a massive win for the footy club.
“We have two huge games against teams that are near us on the ladder in Melton South and North City, and looking at the draw if we win both of those games we should make it,” he said.
East Point coach Jake Bridges highlighted the difficulty his players had had running games out.
“We spoke about what you need to be able to do to be able to close out a game,
“There were a couple of things we did well, but a couple of things we did poorly, and that’s the difference between winning and losing the game.
“At this level to get into the position to win a game is a great effort, but to then ultimately lose that game is a real disappointment,” he said.
Braedan Kight sparked Melton early, kicking four first quarter goals – ultimately going on to kick a match-winning bag of eight.
Mitch Walsh, Billy Watkins, Rhys Monument and Bryson McDougall all hit the scoreboard to cut the early Melton and set the foundation for a second quarter which put the Kangaroos in a winning position.
The Kangaroos’ midfield took control and Chris Carson was influential in defence,l showing great composure in what has been an impressive season for him.
Down by 13 points and with its season hanging in the balance, Melton continued to chip away in the third term to eventual hit the front with a goal on the siren.
The term was also a tale for missed opportunities for the Kangaroos.
The last quarter was a case of survival, with Melton skipping out to a 15-point lead to set up a memorable win. Connor Griffiths, Daniel Walker and Ryan Carter were also prominent for the Bloods.
Melton 5.2, 7.4, 11.4, 13.8 (86)
East Point 5.0, 9.5, 10.5, 11.12 (78)
GOALS - Melton: Braedan Kight 8, Ryan Carter 2, Jake Gleeson 1, Connor Griffiths 1, Mark Maric 1. East Point: Rhys Monument 3, Mitchell Walsh 3, Daniel Tung 2, Bryson McDougall 2, Billy Watkins 1
BEST - Melton: Connor Griffiths, Braedan Kight, Daniel Walker, Ryan Carter, Jack Walker, Jake Gleeson. East Point: Paul Koderenko, Daniel Tung, Hasker Dawborn, Daniel Semmens, Ryan Walsh, Jordan Taylor
DARLEY v SUNBURY
Coach Heath Scotland heaped praise on an undermanned Darley after staving off Sunbury in the BFL on Saturday to move back into third position.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” Scotland said.
He said while there had been bigger wins and potentially more important wins, this was the best of the year given the make up of the team.
Darley defied every Sunbury challenge to take the match by 22 points at Darley Park.
Already without the likes of first-choice players captain Shane Page, Dan Roy, Chris Graham, Brian Graham and Matt Inglis, the Devils lost Jay Pearson (shoulder), Brad Inglis and Scotland from the selected side. Scotland felt a Achilles tendon/calf soreness in the warm-up and will have tests this week to learn the extent of the trouble.
Darley then had key position swingman Kyle Docherty hurt a hip-flexor early in the game
Scotland said even though the Devils gave up a string of late goals after getting out to an eight-goal lead, he could not have been more impressed.
He rated highly Tom Evans’ run-with role on Sunbury’s Alik Magin.
Sunbury coach Ben Jordan was at the other of the scale – not using injuries, although setbacks, as an excuse for a below outing.
Sunbury left the returning Dwain Sanderson (suspension) and Grant Valles (overseas) out of the selected side, and then had Andrew Dahau struggle after a heavy knock to the head and James Rizk battle with a sprained ankle.
Sanderson and Valles played reserves, but are certain inclusions after a bye when Sunbury faces Sebastopol in the last home and away round.
“We didn’t look like it,” Jordan said.
“We were ordinary.”
He was particularly disappointed with the first half, with Sunbury taken the honours at the contested football.
Tim Hill’s season is over after he broke an arm late. Hill was among the Lions’ best.
Darley 1.2, 5.5, 8.5, 13.6 (84)
Sunbury 2.2, 2.4, 4.7, 9.8 (62)
GOALS - Darley: Dane Grenfell 4, Nicholas Thacker 2, Tom Evans 2, Leigh Spiteri 1, Jake Ancrum 1, Mark Hanson 1, Cooper Pepi 1, Harley Inglis 1. Sunbury: Jack Hannett 2, Jesse Flannery 2, Alec Goodson 1, Timothy Hill 1, Trent Stead 1, William Healy 1, Tristan Lenaz 1, David Kovacevic 1
BEST - Darley: Tom Evans, Dane Grenfell, Jackson Carrick, Nicholas Thacker, Mark Hanson, Cooper Pepi. Sunbury: Tom Donoghue, Timothy Hill, William Healy, David Kovacevic, Michael Edwards, Patrick MacDonough
SEBASTOPOL v BALLARAT
Ballarat ended a nine-game losing streak in the BFL at Marty Busch Reserve on Saturday.
While the final margin of 49 points was convincing, Ballarat did not completely shrug off Sebastopol until the third quarter after the Burra had closed within two goals.
It was the Swans’ first win since beating Sebastopol in round five.
Nick O’Farrell spearheaded the success with seven goals. This puts him in equal third on the BFL goalkicker list with 40 for the season.
Daniel Kennedy again showed his class, while Will Garner and defender Scott Wood continued consistent years.
Geoff Lovett has been a great pick up for Sebastopol, with the youngster becoming a prime mover. Ben McLeod again showed his importance, while emerging VFL-listed Lochie Huppatz was also to the fore.
Ballarat will become the first to wrap up its season against Darley next round, as it has a bye in the last week of home and away games.
Ballarat 2.6, 6.9, 9.15, 16.18 (114)
Sebastopol 0.1, 3.8, 6.11, 8.17 (65)
GOALS - Ballarat: Nicholas O'Farrell 7, Jack Blackburn 3, Daniel Kennedy 3, Ged Shearer 1, Shane Hutchinson 1, Marcus Powling 1. Sebastopol: Geoffrey Lovett 3, Ben McLeod 2, Daniel Widgery 1, Toby Hutt 1, Lochie Huppatz 1
BEST - Ballarat: Daniel Kennedy, William Garner, Scott Wood, Nicholas O'Farrell, Marcus Powling, Jesse Marshall. Sebastopol: Jai Harvey, Daniel Widgery, Lochie Huppatz, Ben McLeod, Geoffrey Lovett, Tom Petersen