Melton Centrals hold out hope

Melton Centrals
Melton Centrals’ Peter Akech and Macedon’s Thomas Waters contest a ruck contest. (Luke Hemer)

By Tara Murray

Melton Centrals finally got the scalp they were hunting in the Riddell District Football League.

Needing to beat one of the top six to keep their finals hopes alive, Centrals knocked off Macedon on Saturday at Arnolds Creek Reserve.

While the Centrals only hit the front in the final quarter, it was a strong performance throughout the 7.4 (46)-4.5 (29) win.

Centrals coach Mathew Sproule said they had played some good football. Centrals kicked the last five goals of the game.

“We played much better,” he said.

“We played really well for four quarters. We shouldn’t have been behind at three quarter time.

“They got a couple of goals from 50-metre penalties which wasn’t great. Three of their goals came from our mistakes.”

Sproule said a four-quarter performance had been what they were lacking in recent weeks.

Sproule said they stripped things back during the week with a focus on playing basic football.

“As a coaching group, we changed a couple of things and targeted a few players to make sure they didn’t have an impact.

“The focus was on a couple of tasks and not over-thinking things.”

One of those with a task put on them was key forward Dylan Weir.

In conditions that don’t normally suit the forwards, Weir kicked four goals and was best on ground.

“It was more about his work rate,” Sproule said of Weir.

“When the ball hit the deck, it was about following it up. He threw his body around and was super and got a lot of respect.

“To his credit he did everything that I asked.”

Linton Hogan was another standout, while Kayne Wilson gets better every week.

Sproule was also thrilled with the defence, which restricted the second placed Cats to four goals.

Despite the upset win, Sproule was realistic about their position on the ladder.

Melton Centrals
Dylan Weir celebrates a goal. Picture Luke Hemer

PHOTO GALLERY: Melton Centrals vs Macedon 

The win has them sitting in seventh, two games outside the top six.

“We will put it into perspective, they have some injures which gave us more of a chance,” he said.

“I was happy to play four quarters and we should have done it earlier in the year.

“It’s [finals] out of our control. You want to keep developing the team.

“The top six it pretty handy. We just need to make sure it’s not a one off.”

Centrals this week face Woodend-Hesket, whose finals hopes look dashed following a loss to Rupertswood.

Diggers Rest moved to second on the ladder, with a 13.17 (95)-2.4 (16) win against Lancefield.

A Burras win never looked in doubt, as they kept the Tigers goal-less in three quarters.

Deven Costigan kicked four goals for the Burras, with ruckman Sean Egan named their best.

The Burras now sit percentage behind ladder leaders Romsey. Just one game separates the top six.

The other winners for the round were Rupertswood, Riddell and Wallan. Rockbank had the bye.