Wild fluctuations at Riddell

This was what the electronic scoreboard showed at half-time in the Riddell League’s match of the day on Saturday.

This was what the electronic scoreboard showed at half-time in the Riddell League’s match of the day on Saturday.

In an astonishing first half, a very young and slick moving Romsey shocked last season’s premiers Riddell, threatening to bring the Bombers’ five-game winning streak to an end.

These two neighbouring clubs have a long-term rivalry, and fifth-placed Romsey was coming off a costly loss to Melton Centrals with some pride at stake.

Riddell supporters must have been wondering what was going on; even staunch Redbacks found it hard to believe they had a 5.6 to 1.6 half-time advantage.

No wonder Redbacks’ coach Justin Sherman was pleased his side was having a red-hot go, while frustrated Riddell counterpart Justin Belleville knew his side had produced a uncharacteristic half of football.

Romsey’s risk-taking play-on brand of football paid off, and the Bombers missed several straightforward shots for goal and gave away unnecessary free kicks.

So what happened?

Romsey’s Sam Wilson kicked the side’s sixth goal two minutes into the third quarter, and all of a sudden Riddell seemed to be galvanised into action, stepping up the pressure and having more use of the ball.

The rest of the third term saw play largely in Riddell’s attacking zone. A couple of quick goals changed the tempo and brought their supporters to life.

Such was the momentum swing that Riddell kicked six unanswered goals to go into the last quarter leading by seven points.

Could Romsey stage a revival? For a while the game was a stalemate but two goals kicked off the ground from close range ensured Riddell ended up with a 19-point victory, 11.9 to 8.8.

For the Bombers the best players were listed as Dylan Tarczon, Ben Sonogan, Nathan Croft, Bryce Williamson, Trent Stead and former captain Haydn Ross, who finished with four goals.

The Redbacks’ best were Corey Pertzel, Will Di Pietro, Jack Jedwab, Zac Mussared, Matt Burkett and Jaxson Kinnear.

Romsey’s side included six players eligible for the Under 18s, who earlier won 15.10 (Charlie Jedwab 10 goals) to 4.6. Romsey also won in the Reserves.


After the match, Belleville said the senior side had put the first half behind them and showed plenty of character to turn the match around.

“I still think our best footy is ahead of us,” he said.

Riddell welcomed experienced utility player Brenton Faulkner for his first senior game, and look forward to the bye this weekend, while Romsey will return to the winning list at home to Western Rams.

Romsey and Riddell in action.

There were no surprises in the other round 13 matches.

Like many other sides, Macedon found the going tough at Diggers Rest, with the margin just eight points at half time in a very low scoring match.

The unbeaten flag favourites eventually won by seven goals with Jacob Gough, Zac Smedley and Zac Briggs Macedon’s best.

At home, third-placed Woodend-Hesket went on a scoring spree, scoring 26 goals against cellar-dweller Western Rams, and boosting percentage with a margin of 142 points.

Once again, prolific ball winner Daniel Toman shone, and he must be a contender for this season’s Bowen Medal.

The Hawks will be wary when they go to play Melton Centrals on Saturday, with Centrals pushing second-placed Wallan for three quarters, having beaten Romsey previously.


The TAC Road Safety Round takes place this weekend, across the RDFNL and many other footballing bodies.

RDFNL’s football operations manager Aaron McLean said now was the time for member clubs to be promoting the safety messages.

McLean said each year there are too many deaths on our roads, and the weekend is the time to really think about how everyone can help to reduce road trauma.

“Our clubs, friends and families play an important role in stopping poor behaviour on our roads, whether that be taking the keys off your friend who has had a few drinks or telling your loved one to get off their phone while driving.”