Diggers Rest attack pays off

Sean Egan starred in the ruck for Diggers Rest. Picture Shawn Smits.

Diggers Rest passed stage one of its next phase of the Riddell District Football League season with flying colours.

Having played the bottom four teams in the past four rounds heading into the weekend, the Burras knew they had a much tougher month ahead. The first of those matches – all against sides in the top six – was against Wallan on Saturday.

After a slow first quarter, the Burras stepped it up after quarter-time to win 18.13 (121)-9.11(65).

The Burras had a different face at the helm for the day, with coach Shaun Sims passing the reigns to assistant coach Shane Bishop.

Bishop said it was a good opportunity for him and the playing group.

“We did it for one game last season and we circled a couple of games this year that we thought would be good for my development from a coaching perspective,” he said.

“It gives the boys a different voice. It’s the same message but someone else giving it.”

While it was a different coach in charge, it was still the same Burras on the field as they put in a commanding performance.

Wallan had stages when they dominated play, but the Burras limited it and worked themselves back on top.

Bishop said one of the main aims of the game was to continue working on what they had put in place before the bye a few weeks ago.

“We’ve gone with a more attacking mindset,” he said. “We thought we did that well against the lower sides, but the challenge was to maintain it against more pressure.

“We were still brave with our decision making.”

Jordan Aitken, a mid-season recruit, kicked four goals. Bishop said Aitken had been a handy pick-up who always presents a target to kick to.

Bishop said other standouts in the win were Sean Egan in the ruck, Patrick Jackson down back and Chris Lawton.

“We had 22 solid contributors and I couldn’t find anyone who didn’t perform.”

The second-placed Burras face third-placed Rupertswood this week, followed by a clash with ladder leaders the following week. Bishop said they weren’t looking too far ahead.

“We’re focusing on Rupertswood and not worrying about Macedon yet. Rupertswood have been doing the right things.

“We’re taking the opportunities to build on the foundations we’ve set and focusing on us.”

Meanwhile, Rockbank won its second game of the season, defeating Broadford. An inaccurate Rams couldn’t break the Kangaroos, but did enough to win 12.17 (89)-11.6 (72). Ricky Cameron kicked four goals in the win.

The Rams move to ninth on the ladder.

Melton Centrals suffered a 24.18 (162)-2.6 (18) loss to Macedon. Allan Hill was named best player for Centrals.