2019 SFNL Senior Interleague Review

By John Donohoe

The best of Division 1 Southern League travelled to Romsey on Saturday to take on the Riddell district Football League and played out a thriller at Romsey Park.

A beautiful day greeted the boys as they got off the bus in Romsey, and the setup at the ground was also magnificent, with a pristine surface and friendly staff making the day one to remember.

After just four rigorous training sessions the Southern side, led by Dingley ace Danny Ades were out to prove their worth against a fit, and well drilled Riddell side.

Southern got off to a good start, booting three goals in the first term and restricting Riddell to just the one major. Ades got his team off to the best possible start with the first goal after just a minute and a half before Oakleigh District sharpshooter Jake Mullen booed his first mid-way through the first quarter.

Riddell produced a stirring fightback in the second quarter booting three goals to one including a classy goal from ex-Richmond player Dean Putt late in the second term gave the Southern League a one point advantage going into half time and left coach Ben Lockwood with a lot to think about going into the second half.

Southern got plenty of drive from Paul Fry throughout the first half while star East Malvern ruckman Chris Carey was once again everywhere and gave the star studded Southern midfield first use of the football. But Riddell had lifted their work rate and continued to apply pressure throughout the afternoon, getting themselves back into the contest at the half.

Jake Mullen was a standout up forward in the second half and proving a handful for the Riddell defenders. Ades led from the front, providing plenty of drive and acted as an on-field coach for his troops. He got great support from his Dingley teammates in Lucas Walmsley, Travis La Rocca and Kristen Feehan in defence stood tall.

Things remained tight throughout the second half, with Riddell taking a two-point lead into the final change.

This is where things started to get interesting…

The last term was an exciting one with Southern kicking the first four goals of the quarter, and it looked as though they had run away with things. It was quite the opposite, with Riddell kicking three late last quarter goals to make things very tight.

When the siren sounded, the scoreboard had Southern winning the game by a point, this is when confusion ensued…

The goal umpires came together to confirm the result and found that an error had occurred, and the scores were in fact tied.

It meant that five mins each way of extra time was required, and it also meant that the Southern side had lost the game, going down by three points.

There was plenty of reaction following the result, with coach Ben Lockwood telling the Leader Newspapers "it was disappointing. We thought we’d won by a point. Our last two or three minutes of the game were based on the fact we were a point up. We would have played differently if we knew scores were level".

The coach was clearly frustrated about how things panned out but did tell his boys at the end of the game they should be proud of how they played and that they should keep their heads up. Mullen starred with five goals and Vice-Captain Carey again put on a show in the ruck, continuing to prove a handful around the ground also.

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