Bombers shot down!

Riddell’s momentum was halted at Bomberland on Saturday when a well organised Rupertswood combination answered every challenge and deserved a five-goal victory in the match of the round.
The Bombers learnt you cannot expect to win against strong opposition in ideal conditions by producing just four goals in the first three quarters, and going into the last quarter 29 points in arrears.
Riddell co-coach Justin Belleville laid it on the line to his players after the match: “With our best footy we can beat anyone, but we are not there now,” he declared, signalling a concerted effort on the training track this week in a lead-up to Saturday’s match against Woodend-Hesket.
Rupertswood and Riddell have built up a strong rivalry in recent seasons and the Sharks made amends for being thrashed by their opposition in the finals last season.
Coming off three big wins, Riddell was below full strength and found the visitors too strong. They used the ball better, scintillating forward work producing goals when it mattered, and miserly defenders kept a tight rein on the Bomber forwards.
Goals were scarce for much of the first half, and the Sharks went to the long break full of confidence despite big ruckman Dean Pitt and inspiring captain Brent Swallow going off with injuries; Swallow returned to be one the the visitors’ best.
Two goals in a half of football is not what the large contingent of Riddell supporters expect, and things got worse for the home side in the third term.
Ethan Foreman slotted a long goal from the flank to give the home side a glimmer of hope, but it was impossible to stop the Sharks from scoring, with elusive forward Matt Knight kicking a brilliant checkside goal from the boundary to wrap up proceedings.
Knight finished with four goals, as did key forward Nathan Grigg.
Riddell went into the match without key players Ben Sonogan and Michael Sahlberg who were sore after the previous week’s match at Broadford, and captain Haydn Ross was not 100 per cent. Paul Sahlberg was still a spectator through suspension, and returns this Saturday.
The Sharks curbed the influence of in-form Dylan Tarczon, and the winning margin was a fair indication of the difference between the two sides on the day. Both will play finals.
Expect the Bombers to bounce back hard at Gilbert Gordon Oval on Saturday, where Woodend-Hesket is often hard to beat.
Game called off
The Reserves match was abandoned in the second quarter after Riddell’s promising young key forward Jarryd Gardiner took a strong mark but fell awkwardly, being knocked unconscious.
An ambulance was at the ground, and Gardiner received medical attention and was conveyed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with bad concussion. Reports indicate he has made a good recovery.
Romsey impressive
Tuning up for this Saturday’s big match against Diggers Rest, Romsey was most impressive in producing clinical football against Melton Centrals.
The Redbacks had good players everywhere, and used the ball to perfection to kick 25 goals from 34 scoring shots, while Centrals only three goals came in the last quarter.
Romsey coach Corey O’Sullivan has players combining well, but knows Diggers Rest are a step up in class. Should be a great contest.
Woodend-Hesket stayed in touch in the first half at Wallan, but the Magpies took control in the second half to win by 58 points.
The Hawks were restricted to eight goals, and are looking for a better overall performance against a fired-up Riddell.
At Lancefield, the home club celebrated its 2009 premiership in good style, and after winning the Reserves match, led Broadford by nine points at half time.
The Tigers could not contain opposition forward Langborne, who finished with eight goals with the final margin for the visitors being 28 points — a big improvement by the Tigers.
In the remaining match, Diggers Rest was jolted when winless Rockbank kicked four early goals, then seized total control to score 42 goals with thoughts on how to combat Romsey on Saturday.

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