Riddell scrambled home by three points against previously unbeaten Diggers Rest on Saturday – the fourth time the Bombers have secured a narrow victory against finals contenders.
Collectively the winning margins add up to 15 points, and one loss to football ladder-leader Wallan leaves Riddell with a percentage of 88.18, the lowest of the top six RDFNL teams.
The good news for coach Justin Belleville and his Bombers are they face up to the three bottom sides and have the bye over the next four Saturdays. Realistically they will be well entrenched in the top five at the halfway mark of the season.
Winning at Diggers Rest, by any margin, is usually a big challenge and the Bombers found a way to shut down the opposition in the first half then survive a big second half comeback, with ruckman Josh Grabham continuing his fine recent form.
Riddell 9.17 (71) d Diggers Rest 9.14 (68).
Goals (R) – B. Sonogan 2, N. Croft, M. Treweek, D. Tarczon, T. Stead, T. Alkemade.
Best – J. Grabham, T. Hammerling, L. Shaw, J. Reardon.
RESPITE FOR HAWKS
After a dramatic one-point win over Melton Centrals, Woodend-Hesket found the going much easier against cellar-dwellers Western Rams.
Woodend-Hesket 16.18 (114) d Western Rams .3 (15).
Goals – A. Rae 5, C. Dumper 4, J. Arceri, R. Feguson 2, J. Reeves, M. White, T. Pound.
Best – T. Chapman, H. Giddings, Pound, Rae, C. Bowen, Dumper.
Lancefield battled hard at home to an almost full-strength Wallan, and the Magpies had the dangerous Sean Morris, Matt Perri and Corey Grindlay collectively scoring 13 goals.
The Tigers have certainly improved and will be looking to keep all opponents honest as the season progresses.
Wallan 21.15 (141) d Lancefield 7.6 (48).
Goals (L) – J. Russell 3, J. Kindred, J. Slattery, T. Atwell, B. Crowhurst.
Best – L. Mitchell, Russell, B. Bryant, R. Schrembi, M. Higgins, Slattery.
Away from home, Macedon found Melton Centrals a determined opponent in a low-scoring contest which the Cats were pleased to win, with captain Zac Smedley in good form.
In successive matches the improving Centrals have given finals contenders a real run for their money.
Macedon 7.6 (48) d Melton Centrals 5.9 (39).
Goals (M) – J. Cooke 3, K. Staudt, D. Johnstone, B. Hoyne, J. Blake.
Best – Z. Smedley, J. Wilton, D. Johnstone, M. Dick, T. Hildrebrand, J. Wright.
Current ladder: Wallan 18, Diggers Rest 16, Riddell 16, Woodend-Hesket 14, Macedon 12, Romsey 8, Lancefield 8, Melton Centrals 4, Romsey 4.
Reserves: Woodend-Hesket 25.17 d Western Rams 2.1, Diggers Rest 11.15 d Riddell 1.8, Wallan 19.15 d Lancefield 2.3.
Melton Centrals v Macedon (no scores listed).
There are two big matches in the sixth round this Saturday, with the outcomes important for all finals contenders.
Coming off the bye and a one-point loss to Diggers Rest, Romsey will be desperate to try and take the points against Macedon.
The other big game is at Gilbert Gordon Oval, with Woodend-Hesket welcoming Diggers Rest.
The Hawks have a special ‘Women at the Nest’ celebration during the afternoon at the social rooms, plus evening entertainment as well.