‘Tigers can do a lot better’

Kyneton's Francis Randall (left) and playing coach Ethan Foreman close in on Woodend playing coach Alistair Rae.

Kyneton senior footballers debuted in the Riddell League by defeating Woodend-Hesket by 53 points on Saturday, with playing coach Ethan Foreman predicting the Tigers “can play a lot better” as the season progresses.

Looking ahead to the next match for the Tigers in round 2 on Saturday, April 13, Foreman said Riddell was reputed to have a strong side, but the Tigers would also be strong.

“We’re very grateful for the support today,” the coach said referencing the huge crowd at the Showgrounds. The surface was in great condition.

He described the match as “very scrappy early” and said it was pleasing to open with a victory against last season’s RDFNL runners-up.

Foreman said star forward Cameron Manuel would “definitely be playing” for Kyneton as the season progresses and he shakes off an injury.

Manuel is likely to pose nightmares for opposition defenders if he recaptures his 2023 form.

Foreman said there had been a lot of change which he considered good for the club and the Riddell League and everyone in it had been very welcoming.

Versatile Caleb Fisher, speedy teenager Cody Young and ruckman Jayden Eales were listed as the Tigers’ best, with Reserve grade coach Ryan Pretty showing he could be a regular senior player this season with five goals, the first two from acute angles.

The visiting Hawks kicked an early goal, then defended stoutly for much of the first term until a couple of mistakes were capitalised on by the Tigers to open up a handy led.

Woodend-Hesket produced some quick-moving football, but could not make much impact on the Kyneton defence and the further the game progressed the more certain it seemed Kyneton had the overall talent to protect and extend the lead.

Injuries did not help the Hawks, and some players should really benefit by the outing.

Woodend-Hesket coach Alistair Rae said the match had been “a bit of a learning curve”, and it did not help ending up with no one on the bench in the last quarter.

Rae battled hard and was listed as the Hawks’ best; he said one positive was the form of recruit Will Wiseman, who finished with three goals.

The Hawks now face another tough test at home to Macedon on April 13, but anticipate improvement.

Final scores were 13.11 (89) to 5.6 (36).

Woodend’s James Wiseman and Kyneton’s Francis Randall battle for the ball.
Woodend’s Kyle Baker looks to dispose of the ball with teammates Dan Toman and Ryley Ferguson close behind.

Earlier, it was a battle royale in the Reserves, with Kyneton scrambling home 8.4 (52) to 7.3 (45). Both teams have scope for improvement.

The Under 19.5s was really one-sided, with the impressive Macedon Cats purring along to win by 91 points.

To open the season with a 14.14 ((98) to 1.1 (7) margin is a tremendous confidence booster for the Cats.