Weekly Times | A STRONG second-half performance led the Riddell District Football League to a comfortable interleague victory against the West Gippsland league on Saturday.
The RDFL kicked 10 goals to five after halftime to win 18.15 (123) to 10.11 (71) at Tony Clarke Reserve, with Woodend-Hesket’s Daniel Toman claiming the Karman Medal.
“It was always going to be pretty hot early,” first-year interleague coach Aaron Bray said.
“They started really well and it probably took us a quarter to settle down.
“Once we got the game on our terms we started playing well.”
West Gippsland led by three points at the first change, but the RDFL hit back with six goals to three to lead by 15 at the long break.
The home side then restricted West Gippsland to one third-term goal to push the lead out to 44 points before running away with the win.
Bray said a key part of the team’s turnaround was its organisation around stoppages.
“In the first quarter we would have three blokes flying to win a ball,” he said.
“I told the players to back their teammates to win the ball and then get run off the halfback line.
“We changed our forward structure as well.
“The first 10 minutes of the third quarter we locked the ball in there and had six or seven repeat entries and broke the game open.”
Bray said Toman was a deserved winner of the medal, excellent below his knees and constantly hitting targets, while captain Brett Chambers (Rupertswood) starred at fullback, taking several intercept marks and providing drive from defence.
Lancefield’s Jonathan Kent and Sunbury Kangaroos’ Phil Lobb were dominant up forward, booting 11 goals between them, aided by Broadford’s Rex Hickman’s work further up the ground.
Rupertswood’s Brent Swallow, Rockbank’s Tom Evans and Macedon’s Shaun Harrison also impressed.
With no injuries, Bray said it was great for the league to showcase its best players and go up the rankings.
Bray was thankful for the support from assistant coaches Daniel Nolan, Jeff Andrews and Ross Sleight.
The RDFL also claimed a win in the under-18s match, prevailing 10.16 (76) to 5.12 (42), with Diggers Rest’s Corey Wright best on ground.