Real deal Redbacks!

Romsey rocketed to the top of the Riddell League ladder by overwhelming previously unbeaten reigning premiers Diggers Rest by six goals on Saturday, and Riddell bounced back from an ordinary effort seven days previously to absolutely demolish a disappointing Woodend-Hesket by 122 points.
These two results highlighted round eight matches, with the Redbacks confirming they are the “real deal” as far as premiership prospects are concerned, and ensuring the Romsey versus Rupertswood match this Saturday is an absolute blockbuster.
Romsey’s only loss this season was by four points at Rupertswood in round two, and the Redbacks now have undoubted recruit of the year Mitch Jensen in supreme form, so much so he has been included in the preliminary AFL Victoria Country senior representative squad to play the VAFA on July 13.
To win at Diggers Rest is a tall order for any opposition, but Romsey took complete control in the second half with some brilliant fast moving team football which produced 18 scoring shots to four in a dominant second half.
This performance made footy followers throughout the league sit up and take notice – but Redbacks’ coach Corey O’Sullivan and his line-up know it must be followed up with a similar effort at home on Saturday.
Veterans’ Day
Woodend-Hesket Football Netball Club in company with the Woodend RSL sub-branch and Central Highlands Vietnam Veterans’ Association were delighted to welcome all defence force veterans, serving personnel, friends and families and the wider community to Gilbert Gordon Oval for the inaugural Veterans’ Day match.
Ideal weather conditions prevailed, and there were appropriate ceremonies before the game and at half time, with Hawks’ president Paul Podbury declaring the initiative a real success. It is expected to become an annual fixture.
Netball matches began and finished earlier to slot in with the afternoon’s program, and after a very close senior football match against Riddell at the same venue in 2018 the Hawks were confident of a good showing.
The first quarter of the main match was closely contested, with goals scarce and five points the difference at the first break.
It proved to be the lull before the storm, as the Bombers piled on the pressure and continually found space in the second term, ramming home eight goals while keeping the shell shocked Hawks scoreless.
After five weeks on the sidelines through suspension, topliner Paul Sahlberg came back fresh and dominant, though brother Michael suffered an ankle injury that could sideline him for a while.
Riddell had good players on every line, and their speed and ball movement, and strong defence where Jordan Taylor produced one of his best games, resulted in an overall performance which delighted co-coaches Justin Belleville and Jamie Elliott (in direct contrast to the previous Saturday).
Speedster Riley Paterson continued to shine, and top recruit Gavin Urquhart showed he is gradually reaching top form after a long stint off through injury.
Riddell now has what should be percentage boosting matches ahead against Rockbank, Melton Centrals and Broadford before the tough trip to Diggers Rest on July 12.
Inability to produce four quarters of consistent football this season must be frustrating Hawks’ coach Tom Carland, who will be expecting his line-up to gain their second win of the season at home to Broadford on Saturday.
Riddell continued to dominate in the second half, ramming home 14 goals to the opposition’s three in this period.
15 to Cooke
Macedon’s mercurial forward Jason Cooke was unstoppable at Tony Clarke Reserve, kicking 15 goals as the Cats romped to a percentage boosting 274 points victory against a struggling Rockbank.
The third placed Cats freshened up with the bye, and play at Lancefield this Saturday, then await Diggers Rest on June 22.
Lancefield worked hard at Rupertswood and in some respects did well to restrict the Sharks to 21 goals, while Melton Centrals returned to the winning list by easily accounting for Broadford.
Mitch Jensen’s four goals took his season’s tally to 40 to retained his lead on the senior goalkicking list.

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