MELTON Central will play Riddell District Football League finals after a landmark win against Romsey in which the reigning premier was held goalless in three quarters.
Central’s 6.10 (46) to 4.4 (28) win at Romsey Park put the Blues a game and a half ahead of seventh-placed Wallan with a round to play, defusing this weekend’s match against fifth-placed Macedon which had for a number of weeks shaped as do or die.
Click on the image below for our gallery of the big clash.
Romsey was scoreless in the opening term and kicked all four of its goals in the second quarter before failing to fire in the second half.
Melton Central coach Brian Wheelahan said the senior team’s run of seven wins in the last nine games was the best two months at the club in a long time.
‘‘A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes and on the field it’s great for the playing group to get some reward,’’ Wheelahan said.
‘‘You never celebrate until the siren goes but I’m still pinching myself, to be honest. I know it’s only local footy but to have a win like that ... we really think we’ve got some unfinished business, we don’t want to make up the numbers.’’
Wheelahan said previous encounters against top teams had been over before half-time and a good start was critical to competing.
‘‘If we made it a scrap it would give us the best opportunity, it was really a hard slog underfoot and for the majority of the day it was one-on-one. We’ve got that belief, that with 22 contributors our best can push most sides.’’
Wheelahan singled out Shane Frederickson as best afield and defender Josh Armstrong, who kept Romsey’s league-leading goalkicker Matt Davidson to a single goal.
‘‘The run [Frederickson] provided off half back was terrific, he’s been our most consistent performer all year,’’ Wheelahan said.
‘‘We have a few guys that are genuinely sore, but even though we’ve cemented our spot we want to continue the momentum.
‘‘The sting might be out of the [Macedon] game but we still want to treat it like an elimination final because winning form is good form.’’