LAKE WENDOUREE 15.15 (105)
NORTH BALLARAT CITY 12.10 (82)
Lake Wendouree is doing enough to hold down top position in the Ballarat Football League.
However, the Lakers want more.
Coach Tim Malone again emphasised to his players to need to produce a genuine 120-minute performance after a 23-point win over North Ballarat City at Mars Stadium on Saturday.
Lakers were able to break away from a determined City with two late goals in the third quarter and then keep its at arm’s length with a five-goal last term.
Malone was far from satisfied with Lakers’ second quarter, when they out-scored five goals to two and gave up a 22-point lead on 15 minutes to trail by one point at half-time.
He kept his players on the ground for several minutes after the match, drawing them into a huddle and let them know their performance had not been satisfactory.
Although Malone always felt Lake Wendouree had North Ballarat’s measure, not being able to put the game away reinforced his stance for more consistency within a game.
He believes going down the line wide rather than opening up the game down the corridor, when Lakers are at their best, is hindering their performance.
City coach Jordyn Burke said while disappointed to lose, there had been plenty of positives to take out of a high class, high-paced encounter.
“We’re playing some good football.
“The challenge is to maintain it for the rest of the year.”
Lake Wendouree and North Ballarat City each impressed in transition, with Lakers’ midfield led by Nick Peters, Steve Clifton (three goals), Ben Taylor and Jordan Alexander continually stretching the home combination, which was also well served by Daniel Jones and Daniel Kilpatrick.
City’s tackling and ball pressure was instrumental in keeping the match tight, forcing Lakers to often resort to a high-rate handball game to get out of corners.
Lucas Anderson and Will Young each also provided potent targets in attack.
Anderson kicked six goals as a match-winner, while Young finished with four.
Lake Wendouree retains a half game break over reigning premier Bacchus Marsh with six rounds to play.
Just as they did late last year, Lakers and the Cobras will vie for top position at Wendouree Reserve on Saturday in what shapes as the match of the season to date.
North Ballarat City has just the two wins in ninth and is home to Ballarat next Sunday.
REDAN 11.12 (78)
SUNBURY 5.14 (44)
Redan further pushed its case to be considered a Ballarat Football League premiership contender with a 34-point victory over Sunbury at Clarke Oval on Saturday.
In a game that will not be remembered as one of the more attractive games of the BFL season, Redan led comfortably for most of the contest.
The Western Lions did have lapses in the second and last quarters, but an undermanned injury-struck Sunbury was unable to capitalise in the Albert and Maree Rizk memorial match – played in the memory of the Sunbury couple, who died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in 2014.
Redan did the bulk of the damage in the third quarter after Sunbury had worked its way back into the game.
Redan responded to the home team with six goals in the term to set up a commanding 45-point lead.
The last term was a tight tussle with Redan clearly just trying to get through unscathed, while Sunbury was desperate to get back some respect.
Redan coach Brendan Peace was happy to just get the important four points.
He also highlighted the importance of playing four solid quarters – a theme common among most BFL coaches at the moment.
“The third quarter was obviously massive for us. After an ordinary second, we needed to respond.
“Our tackle pressure was the best it’s been during the third quarter, so we were able to apply scoreboard pressure,” Peace said.
“We have to continue to improve across the whole game rather than just having these bursts of good footy. If we can do that then we’ll be hard to stop.”
Sunbury coach Ben Jordan conceded that the overwhelming feeling was frustration on what was an emotional day for the club.
“We lost three players to injury in the first quarter, so it was a tough day for our boys.
“The guys have got a break this week, which has come at a good time for them because they are a bit like the walking wounded at the moment.
“It’s a credit to Redan because the better side won.
“They are very clinical in the way they go about it and they probably could have put us away even earlier, but their kicking kept us in it,” Jordan said.
Fourth-placed Redan’s win creates a two-game break back to Sunbury (fifth) and keeps it within percentage of Darley (third), which had a bye at the weekend.
Redan now plays East Point.
SEBASTOPOL 19.14 (128)
MELTON SOUTH 17.18 (110)
Sebastopol coach Shane Snibson says seeing his players enjoy the winning experience was as satisfying as any part of their first win of the Ballarat Football League season at Melton on Saturday.
The Burra stunned finals aspirant Melton South by 18 points in a free-running display.
Snibson said it was a proud moment after going for so long without success.
He said being able to respond to every Melton South challenge had been pivotal to the outcome.
The last quarter provided a prime example of this, with the Panthers hitting back with three uninterrupted goals to get within 11 points.
Sebastopol steadied and matched the sequence to put the game beyond Melton South’s reach.
Small forward Harli Givvens kicked two of the late goals for Sebastopol to give him five for the day.
Another youngster Geoff Lovett was another to make the most the open space the Burra was able to create, getting three goals.
Chase Dummett was a dominant player, while Lochie Huppatz was another continue his improvement.
The loss has Melton South out of the top six on percentage again and having to wait two weeks before its next game to make amends, having played its round 13 fixture against Sunbury on Good Friday.
Panthers joint coach Sean Triplett aligned the defeat to the “old’ Melton South – referring to last season’s winless campaign, when it lost to Sebastopol twice.
“Full credit to Sebastopol. We didn’t deserve any better.”
Triplett said Brendan Fevola was among the few who could hold up his head, with more than 32 possessions and five goals in a midfield/forward role. Under-18.5 player David Callus (three goals) also impressed.
BACCHUS MARSH 12.14 (86)
MELTON 7.8 (50)
Bacchus Marsh coach Travis Hodgson has been coming down hard on his players for consistently having third quarter fade-outs in the BFL this season.
While the same signs were there again in a 36-point win over Melton at Maddingley Park on Saturday, he was in a more forgiving mood this time
Hodgson said the circumstances were much different on the back of high intensity early to keep Melton to 1.3 to lead by 51 points at half-time.
Hodgson said losing Matt Denham (collarbone) and Dean Heta (groin) had then impacted.
While Bacchus Marsh was never in danger of losing, Melton took its chances and went on a run of six unanswered goals.
For the second week in a row Melton was hurt by not being able to kick a goal in the first quarter.
Scott Sherlock is getting better with each game and he again displayed his class, while Ryley Stuhldreier produced of his best football of the year.
EAST POINT 12.13 (85)
BALLARAT 6.12 (48)
East Point cruised past Ballarat and into the BFL top six at Alfredton on Saturday.
With Melton South losing to Sebastopol, East Point climbed over the Panthers on percentage and within a game of fifth-placed Sunbury.
The Kangaroos now have the challenge of keeping it with tough assignments against Redan (fourth) and Darley (third) in the next two rounds.
There was plenty to like about East Point’s dismissal of Ballarat by 37 points, with it being able to counter the Swans’ hard overlap running.
Ballarat kicked the opening two goals inside fives minutes, but then dried up.
East Point kept the Swans goalless until 10 minutes into the third quarter and by then the game was being played on East’s terms.
Clay Bilney and Hasker Dawborn were again prominent youngsters for the Roos, while Charlie Lee imposed himself on the game on his return from the VFL and Daniel Tung also impacted.
Grant Baldwin suffered a knee injury in his second game for Ballarat.