Melton coach Aaron Tymms believes the Bloods’ frenetic tackling is potentially the cornerstone to achieving the ultimate in the Ballarat Football League this year.
“We could be tackling our way to a premiership,’’ he said after guiding Melton into the grand final with a 19-point win over East Point in Saturday’s second semi-final at the City Oval.
He praised his players for becoming “tackling machine”.
Tymms, in his first year as Melton head coach, said he had put a big emphasis on this facet of the game and believed it had been instrumental in the Bloods’ rise to be anow one win from a fourth BFL premiership.
Melton went into the game having had 90-plus tackles in its past outings and repeated the dose – including 35 in a defining last term.
Tymms was emotional after the victory, cutting his post-match address in front a packed room of euphoric supporters to avoid breaking out into tears.
He said he was overwhelmed with joy.
Tymms said Melton had defied the odds in reaching the grand final, with few outside the club given the Bloods any chance of making an impact this year after not playing finals since 2007.
“It’s a credit to everyone,. Everyone has worked to make others better.”
Neither Melton or East Point was able to take hold of the game in the first half.
Each had opportunities as goals came in short bursts in a see-sawing contest, but defences were largely able to stand strong in the face of promising build-ups through the midfield.
Melton finally broke the deadlock in the third quarter via two phases.
The Bloods capitalised by converting two free kicks in the opening three minutes to go to six points up and then doubled up again on 24 and 27 minutes to set up a 20-point lead.
For the second week in a row East Point faced the prospect of having to come from behind at the last break, but this time it was not go its way.
Tymms said he was concerned Melton might run out of legs, but it wasm to be thje Bloods who finished full of running.
Matt Denham provided the early spark in what was to a best-on-ground performance.
The Bacchus Marsh premiership player showed why Melton had been keen to get him back to where he played his junior football.
He was untouchable as he got leather poisoning in the first quarter and continued to find space, win the hard balls and bring teammates into the game all day.
Jaycob Hickey troubled the Kangaroos with his pace, while Braedan Kight (3 goals) and Darren Haby (2 goals) constantly troubled the East Point defence.
Ryan Carter also played a big role, allowing potential match-winner Joel Ottavi little of the football as East Point’s forward structure came unstuck.
Aden Nester, Clay Bilney, Matt Johnston and Daniel Tung esnured East Point did plenty of right for a large part of the day.
However, the Kangaroos were unable to find the free-flowing running game which for most of the season had served them so well.
They did miss the run and gun of Mickitja Rotumah-Onus, who missed with a broken finger and was replaced in the selected side by Chris Quinlan.
Melton had a significant injury scare late in the second quarter when ruckman Ben Archard, wjo has been catalyst in the Bloods’ resurgence this year, limped off after spraining an ankle at a centre bounce.
Although not 100 per cent fit, Archard managed to play out the game as predominantly a permanent forward and is confident with a two-week break until the grand final he will be fit for the big one.
3.2, 5.6, 10.10, 12.11 (83)
1.2, 6.6, 7.8, 9.10 (64)
GOALS – Melton: Braedan Kight 3, Ryan Davis 2, Darren Haby 2, Jaycob Hickey 2, Brock Kennedy 1, Blake Souter 1, Matt Denham 1. East Point: Bryson McDougall 3, Aden Nestor 2, Jacob Brown 1, Matthew Johnston 1, Christopher Quinlan 1, Daniel Tung 1
BEST – Melton: Jaycob Hickey, Mark Orr, Matt Denham, Jordyn Cotter, Connor Griffiths, Brock Kennedy. East Point: Joel Van Meel, Paul Kodorenko, Aden Nestor, Daniel Semmens, Clay Bilney, Daniel Tung