Hawks stay alive!

Woodend-Hesket’s season was on the line in a do-or-die match against an in-form Romsey on Saturday, and the Hawks came through with flying colours with a runaway 56 points margin at Gilbert Gordon Oval.
Second placed Riddell, on a 11-game winning streak, play both Romsey and Woodend-Hesket in the next two rounds, and both will be looking to upset the Bombers – a really hard task at the present time.
Hawks’ playing coach Tom Carland was delighted with his side’s performance on Saturday.
The second half produced 10 goals to Romsey’s two, and it was shades of the form shown by the home side earlier in the season.
“We opened the game up, spread well, and our tackling was tremendous…we will be devoting maximum effort to try and win our last two games,” Carland said.
He conceded the Hawks may have “got ahead of themselves” mid-season, with the inexplicable defeat at home to Sunbury Kangaroos on June 16 always going to be a nightmare in the bid to play finals.
Carland praised the intensity and attitude of his players and made special mention of teenager Tyson Chapman for following instructions and helping produce the result sought.
The big win gave Woodend-Hesket a handy percentage boost over Romsey, and the Hawks will be looking to kick a big score against lowly Rockbank this Saturday.
Romsey coach Corey O’Sullivan is astute enough to move on from Saturday, with the odds still favouring the Redbacks to finish in sixth spot and play finals.
Despite heavy rain on Friday, the ground surface was in good condition and the Hawks made a good start, using the ball better to crate opportunities.
Hawks’ key forward Tom Gawthrop kicked the first and last goals of the match (after the siren) and finished with four to take his season’s tally to 51.
A ebb and flow melee broke out involving a large number of players after the quarter time siren, with tempers obviously frayed, and spectators becoming vocal in voicing their frustrations over perceived umpiring inconsistencies.
Two Romsey players were sent off for 15 minutes, but the consistent Jayden Caruna replied with a snap goal on resumption.
Remarkably, with the advantage of two extra players, the Hawks made no in-roads on the scoreboard in this period as Romsey lifted to stay was in striking distance at half time.
The Hawks produced smart play-on football and took some crucial marks up forward in a six goals to two third quarter to open up a match winning lead by the last change. They kicked four more majors in the final term to wrap up a crucial victory.
Daniel Toman was inspiring, and Charlie Mathieson — one of the best teenage players in the league — was named as the Hawks’ best.
Maybe two very hard matches against Macedon and Diggers Rest in successive weeks had some impact on the Redbacks, as their very best can match most sides.
Cooke is back
Mercurial forward and 2017 Bowen Medal winner Jason Cooke is back from overseas and kicked three goals and figured in Macedon’s best in a sound victory against Melton Centrals – just what the Cats need going into the finals. Cooke could be the X-factor for the Cats in the finals.
Former AFL players Matthew Dick and Daniel Markworth were dominant for the Cats who are poised to win their last two matches.
Wallan kicked six goals to nil in the first quarter, then hung on desperately to hold off Diggers Rest by three points to keep double chance hopes alive.
Lancefield battled hard but found ladder leader Rupertswood too strong, with ace forward Todd Podolczak kicking eight goals.
Riddell ran right away from Sunbury in the last quarter, and ‘seven goals to skipper Haydn Ross sees him seven clear in the season’s goalkicking award.
There were plenty of celebrations at Broadford after the home side won its first match for the season at Rockbank’s expense.
The RDFNL has announced that the league’s best and fairest count for the Bowen and Ryan Medals will take place at Taylors Lakes on Wednesday, September 5.

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