‘Winning ugly’ okay

Riddell senior footballers opened the 2024 season with a hard-fought win over Macedon at Tony Clarke Oval on Saturday, with the Bombers receiving the PUKA Up Cup in the annual fundrauser between the two clubs.

“We won ugly today,” new Riddell football coach Arron Bray told his players after their 11-point victory over Macedon on Saturday.

The match was hard to rationalise overall, with just 14 goals being scored, and the Bombers establishing what proved to be a winning lead with a five-goal-to-one third term.

There has been a lot of pre-season hype around the league about Riddell being strong premiership prospects, and no doubt Bray – who previously coached Broadford and Rupertswood – will be keeping a lid on any premature internal speculation at this early stage.

More will be known after this Saturday’s big Riddell versus Kyneton match at Bomberland.

There was an interested Kyneton presence at Tony Clarke Reserve for the Macedon versus Riddell encounter.

It was the annual PUKA-Up Cup match with the joint thoughts of both clubs and supporters on the importance of mental health.

Riddell took home the Cup by winning the majority of football and netball matches on the day.

What did Macedon coach Al Meldrum think afterwards?

“We had eight of our Under 19.5s playing out there …. I’m pretty proud,” Meldrum said.

The return of quality player Matt Dick to the Cats was welcomed, and along with Hamish Govan (ex-Kyneton) he figured in the Cats’ best players.

In the first quarter, Macedon managed to shut Riddell down and establish a two-goal lead.

Riddell prime mover, Dylan Tarczon, limped off early in the first term with a hamstring injury, which he felt was “not too bad”.

A turnaround came in the second term, with goals at a premium, with scores tied 3.3 to 3.3 at the long interval.

Riddell’s confidence lifted with early third-term goals, and the Cats were under pressure to repel forward thrusts.

Several players ended up requiring medical attention, and it was Macedon that began to monopolise the ball as the clock ticked down in the last quarter.

The Bombers were content to hold possession at times, and actually failed to score at all for the term, causing some frayed nerves among supporters.

The 8.7 to 6.8 result was one the Bombers would surely take, and after a good pre-season it may well be a case of the ‘new’ and ‘old’ players assimilating to become a very well-drilled unit.

Riddell recruit Dean Galea was the top scorer with three goals.

Respective coaches Aaron ‘Skip’ Bray (Riddell) and Macedon’s Al Meldrum had plenty to reflect on after Saturday’s encounter.
Dylan Tarczon – the dynamo spent most of the match encouraging teammates after he came off injured very early in the match.


The important Wallan versus Romsey match was extraordinary. The home side dominated the first half, then could not bounce back at all when the rejuvenated Redbacks staged an impressive third-term revival.

It has been nine seasons since Romsey last won at Wallan, and this breakthrough must add to the momentum for a club celebrating its 150th year.

To kick seven second-half goals and restrict the shell-shocked Magpies to one was a huge effort.

The final score was 9.8 to 7.9, with veteran Chris Petroro, and speedsters Callum Sankey and Corey Pertzel named as the Redbacks’ best.

Some of Romsey’s younger brigade are very speedy, and coach Justin Sherman has plenty to work with, with a victory at home against Melton Centrals this Saturday a “must”.

Wallan’s ace recruit is vastly experienced ruckman Chris Stewart, and he is likely to trouble all comers.

Gisborne Giants impressed in the Under 19.5s with a runaway 10.13 to 2.3 victory against Riddell.