East Point 13.7 (85) d Melton 12.11 (83)
Coach Jake Bridges has highlighted East Point’s ability to withstand pressure after chasing down Melton in the Ballarat Football League at Melton on Saturday.
“We stood up under pressure and kept our structures,” he said.
The Kangaroos came from 20 points down 10 minutes into the last quarter to win by two points and remain undefeated.
Melton was all over East Point, which had been at the mercy of the hard-running Bloods led up front by the dangerous Darren Haby and Braedan Kight with five goals apiece.
Ultimately, this strength became an Achilles heel.
With game seemingly done and dusted, Melton went away from the controlled chip-and-run game which had allowed it to take charge and with it an inability to to find other avenues to goal.
For East Point, it book-ended the game with its best – kicking five goals with a handy wind in the first quarter and then four unanswered to defy the odds late.
It was no coincidence that Daniel Tung was instrumental in each phase.
Tung helped keep the Kangaroos’ defence in line when Melton was at its most dangerous and went forward late to kick two crucial goals in a fine display of leadership.
While Haby was unstoppable in Melton’s half, kicking three of the Bloods’ opening four goals.
Then Kight got off the hook, forcing East Point to scramble hard through Jake McQueen, Matt Johnson, Daniel Semmens and ultimately Clay Bilney as he worked into the contest.
It was to be Johnston, who had started the day as well as any of the Roos, who put them in front with a snap shot in the 26th minute.
From there Melton threw everything at it, but it was unable to break down the resolve of the East Point defence which was typified by a couple desperate plays by Jordan Payne.
Liam Carter looked to have grab the lead back for Melton when he rolled a kick through on 30 minutes, but it was deemed touched to the relief of the Kangaroos.
The Bloods lost Kurt Baker in the opening quarter with a strained hamstring.
Ryan Walsh limped from the ground at half-time with a knee issue, but managed to play out the game for East Point, which now faces Redan.
Ballarat 18.18 (126) d Sebastopol 9.11 (65)
Ballarat turned its early season form on its head to stun Sebastopol by 61 points in the only Sunday home and away fixture of the Ballarat Football League season.
It was a role reversal for each of the combatants at Marty Bush Reserve, with the Swans coming off two disapointing losses and the Burra pushing East Point in its previous outing.
While it gives Ballarat a desperately needed win, it leaves Sebastopol with three straight defeats and a long way off fulfilling pre-season talk of climbing off the bottom and playing finals.
Ballarat coach Shane Hutchinson said it was first time this year the Swans had put everything together.
He said it was a lot to do with mindset – talent does not change.
Hutchinson said put the improvement down to basics – better concentration, effort and sticking to structrures, a feature it had strayed from in earlier games.
While Hayden Hughes was again a target in attack, young defenders Mitch Bishop and Luke Wynd were among the better players.
Hutchinson was impressed by the job Wynd did on the experienced James Keeble, who was still a main avenue to goal for Sebastopol. The Ballarat midfield featuring Will Garner was also able to get the better of Sebastopol’s well credentialled engineroom.
Sunbury 9.9 (63) d Darley 9.8 (62)
Grant Valles helped Sunbury deny reigning premier Darley by the barest of margins in the BFL at Sunbury on Saturday.
Valles kicked the winning goal with 90 seconds remaining after ball bounced back into play from close to the Lions’ goal line.
Even after then Darley had a chance to either win or draw, but Sunbury was able to clear the ball its last line of defence with just seconds to go.
Although it was their second loss on end, it was a strong response from the Devils after a poor showing against Melton/.
However, to lose after leading by 17 points in the last quarter would have been just as painful.
Sunbury coach Ben Jordan said it had been a great effort to fight back after struggling to match the pressure exerted by Darley. “We kept believing and managed to increase our intent.”
The win has Sunbury on top on percentage.
Lake Wendouree 8.17 (65) d Redan 7.10 (52)
Lake Wendouree reaped the benefit of a big start to thwart a determined Redan in the Ballarat Football League at the City Oval on Saturday night.
Although the match did not run its full course, with the last three minutes lost after a generator powering the ground lights failed, Lakers’ 13-point lead looked like being enough.
With the premiership points set to go its way, Lake Wendouree will be one of three unbeaten teams after three rounds with two wins and a bye.
Sunbury and East Point each have three wins after getting out of jail on Saturday.
For coach Dale Power, it has been a satisfying start to his coaching reign at Lake Wendouree – making the most of suitable match-ups.
Power felt Lakers took further steps forward in the tussle. “We had a lot more control over the game.”
Power said while an early finish was not the way anyone liked to win, he was confident that with so little time remaining Lakers would have gone on to win in full-time.
Lakers opened the night with a five-goal first quarter to lead by 26 points.
Then not unlike its win over the Swans, Lake Wendouree struggled to kick goals, with its next being 25 minutes into the third term.
Redan hit back hard in the second quarter with a strong response led by veteran ruckman Orren Stephenson, although the Lions did tend to over use the football by hand.
Redan tightened up as close as seven points in the third term, but then it developed into an arm wrestle – almost a stalemate at times – as “old heads” in each camp had a big say.
Two Lakers’ goal in the opening three minutes of the last term was to be difference, although Redan replied with the next three major to trim the margin from 30 points.
Bailey Edwards played a blinder for Lakers, with the former North Ballarat Rooster’s explosive pace and ball sense opening up the young Lions. Former coach Tim Malone was also a master in defence.
Liam Hoy stood tall in midfield for Redan, while backman Pat Britt was rock solid.
Lake Wendouree teenager Mitch Phillips suffered a broken collarbone and ruckman Arthur Armstrong was to have an ankle scanned.
Orren Stephenson became Redan’s latest soft tissue casualty with hamstring trouble.
Bacchus Marsh 25.15 (165) d North Ballarat City 10.12 (72)
Bacchus Marsh needed just one quarter to quash the hopes of North Ballarat City in the BFL on Saturday.
The Cobras overwhelmed the visitors with a seven-goal opening term and then confirmed their authority with 10 majors in the third on the way to a 93-point annihilation.
Coming off a bye, newcomers were instrumental in Bacchus Marsh opening its winning account.
Aaron Willitts displayed his potency in attack with six goals, while swingman Jack Owen (four goals) shone in attack and defence as the Cobras celebrated premiership captain Tyson Shea’s 200th game.
Will Young bagged six consolation goals for North City, which had been unbeaten.