IT was a clash of the Lions and Panthers in Round 7 of the
Ballarat Football League. A 135-point win to Redan has them firmly in second place behind North Ballarat City but the scoreboard belied the determination of the young Melton South players. Lions coach Eammon Gill said it was a good win for the side and praised the hard work of the opposition. “Obviously conditions were quite heavy and to Melton South’s credit they are always a side that always gives one hundred per cent and with a young side it is not easy for them, but for young kids they have a red hot go and in the first half we saw that,” he said. “But then we were able to get into the space and use the ball well, we were able to put it on the score board, which was pleasing.” It would not have been easy for the young Panthers, coming up against a side like Redan, who has a reputation of being a tough competitive side.
“To their credit they (Melton South) had a good win last week and they showed what they can do,” Gill said. “Even though, today, they weren’t able to put it on the scoreboard the young fellows had a red hot go and that’s all you can ask from your young fellows. Coach Gill tried a new tactic, one which we doubt would happen had the Lions played a team higher in the standing. Looking back at the third quarter there wasn’t a player to be seen in the Lions forwards, that half of the oval was empty and of course the young Melton South players would have had to follow their opponent and were dragged into the centre. Suddenly in the play a Redan player would kick forward but no one was home so it was a mad scramble to get to the ball but the Lions seem to have known what to do because they were still able to score, getting to the ball first. “But to our credit when we got our opportunities we made them count. “Full forward was empty a couple of times and I think the conditions made that happen a little bit, lots of players around the ball but when we could get up the ground and once we could win it, we ran and kicked it back over the top.”
Gill added he felt that the competition was fairly even this year. “We lost to Lake Wendouree a few weeks ago and they are a very good side this year along with North City and also Darley – I think they are the three sides at the minute that are probably the ones to beat,” he said. “It is always pretty tough and quite even at the but I think they are probably the three at the minute.” Gill is in his fourth term as coach at Redan. In the last two years they have been beaten in the preliminary final and haven’t been able to make it through but in his first year Redan did make the grand final, losing to Sunbury. “We have had a solid start to the year and hopefully it can continue,” he added, speaking of 2015. “On Saturday everyone contributed really well and I thought Dean Mathews was very good, he played very cleanly, given the conditions. Also Brenton Riordan was very good especially in the air on such a muddy oval others like Nick Willox and Jack Jess rose up to be counted.”