BFL round 11 reviews | Redan on the board, East Point records massive win

Redan 17.25 (127) d Melton South 8.10 (58)

Redan coach Brendan Peace believes the Lions will be able to play with more freedom now that they have a win under their belt in the Ballarat Football League.

The Lions finally reaped the rewards of their efforts with a commanding 69-point triumph over Melton South at the City Oval on Saturday.

Peace said getting a win under their belt after nine defeats would increase the belief within the side.

He said Redan had been in contention in most of its games and it was pleasing to finally get the result go its way.

Peace said there had been a focus on motivation and enjoyment leading into the clash, and this had been evident in the outcome.

Redan opened up the Panthers in the second term with 4.10 and then took total control with 7.9 in the last quarter – giving the Lions 42 scoring shots to 18.

Young tall forward Lachlan McLean had a day out with eight goals as Redan’s more experienced players such as Nathan Horbury, Grant Bell and Dean Mathews, back from injury, made their presence felt.

Melton South was unable to rediscover anything like the form it had shown in demolishing Ballarat by 100-plus points a week earlier.

Lachlan Watkins and Dale Houghton were among the Panthers’ best along with the tireless Ben Sortino.

Watkins has been one of Melton South’s consistent contributors this season – form which last week led to him being added to Coburg’s VFL list.   

Lake Wendouree 16.12 (48) d Sunbury 5.8 (38)

A resilient Lake Wendouree secured another important four premiership points in a dour struggle with an inconsistent Sunbury in the Ballarat Football League at Wendouree on Saturday.

The Lakers not only move back into the top six, they are now just percentage off third position.

For Sunbury, it was another loss in Ballarat.

The Lions have come up short in each of three trips down the Western Freeway – a record which is beginning to hurt it, with them part of a log jam from eighth to third.

Sunbury coach Ben Jordan said it was just a matter of the better side getting the win on the day.

“It was a game where the Lakers probably deserved to win, judging on scoring shots and weight of forward entries. 

“Our effort was there and it’s one of those games where we hoped the boys could dig a bit deeper and get the result.

“They were just that little bit better than us,” he said.

Lake Wendouree coach Dale Power said it was a pleasing result following up from their upset win over Bacchus Marsh the previous week.

“We didn’t want to go out there and let ourselves down after such a good win, so it meant a lot to us to win today. 

“Our skill level was pretty ordinary at times, so there’s always room for improvement when it comes to absorbing the opposition’s pressure and tidying up our skill level.” Power said.

With the margin never exceeding 10 points at any stage, it went down to Liam Hepworth to seal the victory, converting a set shot late in the final term to provide some breathing space.

Alik Magin was a stand-out for Sunbury, kicking three goals in a low scoring contest and providing plenty of midfield drive, while skipper Andrew Duhau once again led from the front in an impressive display. 

However, when the game was on the line, it was Lake Wendouree which had more numbers to the contest and handled the heat that little bit better, with Ash Simpson and Lachlan O’Connell leading from the front.

It was only for a brief moment in the third term that the Lions were in front, but Lake

Wendouree was able to arrest the momentum every time Sunbury mounted a serious challenge, holding on in a tense last quarter battle in which each side only kicked the one goal in a 10-point game.

East Point 16.17 (113) d Darley 6.11 (47)

East Point unleashed its new-found might on a deflated Darley at the Eastern Oval on Saturday and leave no question about its Ballarat Football League premiership prospects.

Darley had no answer to the Kangaroos’ class, pressure or controlled attack on the ball, which was seen at its best in the opening 20 minutes.

East kicked 5.3 in this period before the Devils had scored and it was game over as it went on to salute by 66 points.

What energy Darley did have was sucked out of it in this burst.

East Point coach Jake Bridges described it as a “great” win and highlighted the importance of a strong start.

He said the Kangaroos’ dominant tackling – Darley did not record a run-down tackle – and running game, as well as a willingness to put bodies on the line was decisive.

Darley football manager Craig Baker was impressed by the Kangaroos.

“They’re the best team we’ve played (this year).”

He acknowledged that East Point had beaten the reigning premier across the board.

Stand-in coaches Dan Roy and Travis Minns, who filled in for absent head coach Heath Scotland, tried everything, but there was no sign of the gritty output which had lifted the Devils over the line against North Ballarat City in the previous round.

There was some response in the last quarter after Roy called on his players to roll up their sleeves and get back to playing their familiar “blue collar” football, but it was little consolation.

Clay Bilney, Mickitja Rotumah-Onu, Matthew Johnston and Cameron Lovig set the tone from the midfield for East early, and the longer the match went the more influential they became.

Daniel Tung again had the football on string as a rebounding defender, while Joel Van Meel was rock solid deeper in the backline.

And then near goal, Bryson McDougall (four goals), Joel Ottavi and Bradc Whittaker were constant dangers.

For the amount of time East Point had the football in its territory, it could easily have been a bigger margin, but for the efforts of Darley defenders Darren Leonard and Rhys Ellis. Shane Page and Luther Baker also battled hard up the ground.

The loss not only sent Darley from third to fourth, but cost it 15 percent – a factor which might crucial down the track.

Darley must regroup to face arch-rival Bacchus Marsh on Saturday.

Melton 7.15 (57) d North Ballarat City 6.7 (43)

Melton defied a late surge by North Ballarat City to boost its BFL finals hopes at Melton on Saturday.

Despite having a lot of control, Melton was in danger of letting another game slip when North hit the lead with the first two goals of the last quarter,

The Bloods were staring at four losses in a row.

However, VFL-listed Liam Carter in his first game back after injury became a match-winner with a couple of majors to inspire the win and keep Melton in the thick of the finals battle.

Melton coach Aaron Tymms said the fighting qualities of the Bloods to regain the ascendancy late in the day had been full of merit.

He said it had been a tremendous response.

While there was relief for Melton, the loss is another setback for North Ballarat City, which has lost three of its past four games.

North might be third, but is just one game ahead of eighth and far from comfortable.

Bacchus Marsh 16.19 (115) d Sebastopol 10.6 (66)

Bacchus Marsh provided Sebastopol with a reminder that making the Ballarat Football League finals is going to be to be tough.

The Cobras put the Burra away by 49 points and out of the top six despite again not being able to stay in top gear for the entire match.

Sebastopol made the most of its forward opportunities, but they were well short of Bacchus Marsh’s numbers.

Bacchus Marsh coach Travis Hodgson said the Cobras needed to make more of their chances in front of goal, with the possibility that inaccuracy in a tight game might prove costly.

He said the challenge remained to get more consistent output.

Ben Speight continued to build on his game with four goals, while Jake Owen (three goals) delivered in a big way despite being wayward in front of the goal.

James Keeble marked his return for Sebastopol with a bold performance as it played out the game strongly despite being too far back to win.