WATCH VIDEOS BELOW
SEBASTOPOL V MELTON
Sebastopol is daring to dream in the Ballarat Football League.
The Burra edged closer to what for two decades has been an elusive finals appearance with the closest of win over Melton at Marty Busch Reserve on Saturday - holding by one point.
Although still fourth, Sebastopol strengthened its position to be two games inside the top six.
While there was no hiding Sebastopol coach Leigh Hutchinson's excitement with the outcome, he was also quick to emphasise there was still a lot of hard work ahead.
Sebastopol's next assignment emphasises this, being at home to second-placed Darley in their first meeting of the season.
In contrast, Melton has slipped to sixth and still only one win inside the top six ahead of Bacchus Marsh and charging North Ballarat City.
Sebastopol appeared set to take the game right away from Melton early, with fours goals in the opeing 13 minutes.
The Bloods reset and worked their way back into the game, restricting the Burra to two goals for the rest of the day and closing the gap to level the scores with a check-side snap off the boot of Shaun Campbell on 22 minutes of the last term.
Braedan Kight then almost gave Melton the lead with a set shot from outside 50m, only to see his kicked cleared off the line as it was set to sail through for a behind.
There was some conjecture among Melton supporters as to whether the ball had crossed the line, but it was to - be the Burra which was to score - a scrambled behind - and secure the premiership points in a finals-like atmosphere.
Hutchinson conceded Sebastopol had lost its structure in the second and third quarters as Melton found its feet.
He said the Bloods reshuffled their line-up and his players had not suitably adjusted to the changes.,
Hutchinson was full of credit though for the Burra's last quarter when the game was on the line. "We played really well."
Melton coach Aaron Tymms was in despair with the loss, but could not fault the desire and fighting spirit of the Bloods.
Tony Lockyer was a tower of strength off half back for Sebastopol, while Daniel Widgery was consistent through the midfield which was parked early by Lachie Cassidy and Luke Kiel.
Shaun Campbell and Connor Griffiths were linchpins in Melton getting back into a winning position, alongside a busy Matt Denham and Dyson Stevens.
The loss was not the only bad news for the Bloods.
Daniel Walker's season looks over after broke his left arm in the first quarter.
Melton looked in double trouble at the time - the 28-minute mark - with Ryan Carter also going down with a lower left leg injury.
However, Carter managed to play out the game - earning the praise of his coach.
Sebastopol 4.3, 4.4, 5.5, 6.11 (47)
Melton 0.2, 3.5, 4.7, 6.10 (46)
GOALS - Sebastopol: Michael Powell 2, Brett Goodes 2, Tony Lockyer, Simon Butler. Melton: Braedan Kight 2, Shaun Campbell, Mark Orr, Connor Griffiths, Matt Denham
BEST - Sebastopol: Dean Widgery, Toby Thoolen, Tony Lockyer, Ryan Noether, Brett Goodes, Ben Trew. Melton: Matt Denham, Billy Crofts, Shaun Campbell, Mark Orr, Dyson Stevens, Jack Walker
SUNBURY V EAST POINT
Sunbury has put itself in Ballarat Football League premiership talk after comprehensively dealing with top side and reigning premier East Point.
With late recruit Jarrah Maksymow playing a starring role with four goals on debut in a low-scoring affair, the Lions resisted a late rally by East Point to take the game by 16 points at Sunbury's Clarke Oval on Saturday.
In an eagerly anticipated return, Maksymow needed only 35 seconds to kick his first major on his way to finishing with all three of Sunbury's goals for the first quarter.
Youngster Cody Brand also provided a highlight for Sunbury, as the under-19 first-gamer kicked the first of his two goals in a telling second quarter.
With it obvious splitting the big sticks was not going to be easy in trying conditions, the Lions' two goals in the term to stretch their lead to 19 points were telling.
Sunbury, which has moved up to fifth, did even more damage with the first two majors of the third quarter before the Kangaroos managed to get their offensive game going and keep their deficit to 21 points ahead of the final stanza.
East Point was desperate to come up with something, with tall forwards such as Brad Whittaker and Bryson McDougall having been well held.
The visitors managed to marginally outscore Sunbury in the last term, but they were left to rue some missed chances after kicking just six goals from 21 scoring opportunities.
While conceding that his side did fall away for a period of time, Sunbury coach Travis Hodgson was impressed with the way the Lions were able to regather themselves.
"It was pleasing how we were able to turn it around again.
"We were missing a few by the end of the game, with (Dylan) Kempster and (Dylan) Featon going down fairly early, so we knew at some stage that they (East Point) would come.
"The boys showed great maturity though to be able to still go on with it," Hodgson said.
Although on the wrong end of the result, Roos coach Jake Bridges could still find the positives.
"You still couldn't question the boys' effort. I thought it was there until the end.
"There were just a few things that didn't go our way and that makes it difficult.
"Both sides had to capitalise on their opportunities and we struggled to do that at times," said Bridges, who still has East Point on top of the ladder on percentage ahead of Darley and Redan.
Sunbury 3.4, 5.9, 7.14, 8.19 (67)
East Point 2.4, 2.8, 4.11, 6.15 (51)
GOALS - Sunbury: Jarrah Maksymow 4, Cody Brand 2, Michael Edwards 1, Alik Magin 1. East Point: Jake McQueen 3, Mitchell Walsh 1, Lucas Dahlenburg 1, Jordan Johnston 1
BEST - Sunbury: Mitchell Conn, Jayden Eales, Jack Hannett, Jarrah Maksymow, Michael Edwards, Jack Sheahan. East Point: Cameron Lovig, Jake McQueen, Daniel Tung, Daniel Semmens, Joel Mahar, Jordan Johnston
BACCHUS MARSH V REDAN
Liam Hoy became an instant hero for Redan when he goaled after the final siren to secure a five-point win over Bacchus Marsh in the Ballarat Football League at Maddingley Park on Saturday.
Hoy took the opportunity after finding himself in the right spot at the right time to take an uncontested mark just inside the 50m arc after teammate Pat Britt had thrown the football onto his boot in a desperate effort to get it forward.
Redan coach Jarrett Giampaolo, who was standing behind Hoy directly in line with goal, said the shot looked like being a behind (for a draw) off the boot, but had swerved back for a six-pointer.
"It had a fair bit of swing on it," he said.
Giampaolo said right up that moment the Lions had looked liked losing after what he described as "atrocious" kicking for goal.
The Lions finished with 7.22 to Bacchus Marsh's 9.5.
"Poor kicking is poor football. "We just couldn't convert. It almost cost us."
Giampaolo said he felt Redan had control of the match everywhere but on the scoreboard.
He said the effort to close down the opposition had returned, with as many tackles on the day as in its past two games put together.
Bacchus Marsh led at every change, with a four-point advantage going into the last quarter.
The Cobras strengthened that after back-to-back goals to lead by two kicks midway through the term.
However, the impact of being down two rotations for most of the game then began to take a toll.
The Marsh lost pivotal onballer Jacob Chisari (concussion) and Jack Parente (leg) in the opening quarter.
It was Chisari's first game back after spending three weeks overseas and is a worrying sign for him, given he has history of concussions.
Bacchus Marsh coach Peter Davey said the loss was deflating.
He said it was disappointing after being given a second chance and then getting into a winning position.
Davey said the Cobras had been lucky to be still in the game at the end of the first quarter, let alone leading, after Redan kicked 1.5.
"We kept at it."
Lachie George was a match-winner for Redan, getting right back to his best. And there was nothing the Cobras could do to lessen his impact.
Orren Stephenson was also a major factor on his return from injury.
Like Bacchus Marsh, Redan did not escape without injury concerns.
The speedy and in-form Blake Thomson looks like missing several weeks after straining a hamstring.
With East Point losing, Redan remains third, but is now on equal points with the ladder-leading Kangaroos and Darley.
Bacchus Marsh missed a chance to draw level with Melton and stays a win outside the top six.
Redan is a way to an improving North Ballarat City next round, while Bacchus Marsh meets Ballarat at Alfredton.
Redan 1.5, 2.12, 4.18, 7.22 (64)
Bacchus Marsh 2.1, 5.1, 7.4, 9.5 (59)
GOALS - Redan: Lachlan George 2, Grant Bell 2, Liam Hoy 1, Lachlan McLean 1, Alexander Harvey 1. Bacchus Marsh: Jake Owen 3, Declan Phyland 2, Kain Dickson 1, Jack Lalor 1, Aaron Willitts 1, Harrison King 1
BEST - Redan: Benjamin Smyth, Liam Hoy, Keenan Waterbury, Blake Thomson, Sam Carr, Alexander Harvey. Bacchus Marsh: Billy Griffiths, Declan Phyland, Tyson Shea, Matthew Chisari, Daniel Velden, Ryley Stuhldreier
LAKE WENDOUREE V NORTH BALLARAT CITY
North Ballarat City has moved within one game of the top six after getting a third consecutive win - defeating Lake Wendouree by an emphatic 50 points in the Ballarat Football League at CE Brown Reserve on Saturday.
Will Young was back to his best with seven goals for North, which took the game out Lakers' reach with a six-goal third term.
North Ballarat coach Shane Skontra said City had been on the improve since getting greater stability a the selection table.
He said players were combining better and showing in the results.
Skontra has also seen a lift in North's competitiveness at stoppages.
Lake Wendouree coach Dale Power said Lakers had had produced their share of solid football, but had been unable reap the rewards.
"We played a lot of good football to get inside 50, but couldn't get goals."
He said there was a tendancy not to be able to play out a quarter, falling off late and then leaking goals.
North Ballarat also made the most of Lakers' lack of key position players.
Jack Elkington has been the latest to be sidelined, with the big defender's season looking to be over after nose surgery.
North is now equal on premiership points with Bacchus Marsh (seventh) and one game adrift of Melton.
For Lakers, it was another disappointing outcome and the prospect of facing East Point at home next round.
North Ballarat City 2.5, 5.5, 11.9, 14.12 (96)
Lake Wendouree 0.0, 3.1, 4.2, 7.4 (46)
GOALS - North Ballarat City: William Young 7, Izaac Johnson 3, Adam Turley 1, Mitchell Gilbert 1, Sam Willian 1, Harry Loader 1. Lake Wendouree: Jacob Coxall 3, William Henderson 1, Sean Willmott 1, Bailey Edwards 1, Jamie Norton 1
BEST - North Ballarat City: William Young, Josh Chatfield, Cameron McCallum, Harrison Mulcahy, Simon Mc Cartin, Adam Turley. Lake Wendouree: Bailey Edwards, William Henderson, Jacob Coxall, Caleb Hepworth, Ben Taylor, Callum Harte
MELTON SOUTH V BALLARAT
Ballarat coach Joe Carmody says the Swans' ability to respond each time Melton South lifted had been the cornerstone of their second win of the Ballarat Football League season at Melton Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Ballarat made the most of the scoring end with five goals in each of the first and third quarters, and this was to a difference.
Melton South did loom large early in the last term though.
The Panthers looked to have closed what had been a 22-point deficit at three quarter time to less than a goal when Paul Bower threaded a major.
However, it was disallowed and the Swans kicked away by 23 points.
Carmody said it had been pleasing to see all 22 players make considerable contributions - ensuring the Swans had maintained their structure even when placed under increased pressure.
Once again the experienced hands of Daniel Kennedy, Marcus Powling and Andrew Hooper (six goals) led from the front.
Melton South coach Heath Pritchard said it was a matter of being beaten by the better team on the days.
The Panthers were not helped though by injuries to their biggest two and most important players Paul Bower and Ben Sortino, who each finished the day spending time in hospital.
Ruckman Sortino was stretchered off in the second quarter with a knee injury, which Pritchard is hopeful is limited to a bone bruise.
Bower kicked four goals after being forced to play as a stay at home forward with a bruised hip.
Ballarat moves a six premiership points clear of Melton South, whichj sits on the bottom.
The Swans are now home to Bacchus Marsh next round and Melton South faces Sunbury in Melton.
Ballarat 5.3, 7.6, 12.10, 15.11 (101)
Melton South 2.2, 6.6, 9.6, 11.12 (78)
GOALS - Ballarat: Andrew Hooper 6, Daniel Kennedy 3, Grant Baldwin 2, Nicholas O'Farrell 1, Lachy Dawson 1, William Liston 1, Ash Gray 1. Melton South: Paul Bower 4, Sean Humphries 2, Ryan Holzer 2, Brody Sullivan 1, William Thornton-Gielen 1, Matthew Sullivan 1
BEST - Ballarat: Marcus Powling, Andrew Hooper, William Garner, Grant Baldwin, Daniel Kennedy, Nicholas Weightman. Melton South: Paul Bower, Matthew Sullivan, Broden Collins, Sean Humphries, Brody Sullivan, Brendan Hooper