Wombats keep clean sheet

May 14, 2018

Coming from behind: Merrigum's Daniel Clarke reads the play well with prime position ahead of Lancaster's Chris Eddy.

Strong hands: Lancaster's Zach Cerrone did not let Merrigum opponent Brett Maher get near the ball.

Any way forward: Lancasters Michael Hill slides through another goal despite Merrigum's Rhys Bucktin giving chase.

Yours, mine or ours: Merrigum players get tangled up in a marking contest.

The unbeaten run had to end for one team and Merrigum was on the losing side of a contest with Lancaster.

The Wombats inflicted upon the Bulldogs their first loss of the year, with the 28-point victory keeping the Wombats with a zero in their loss tally.

Wind was always going to be a factor in games across the weekend and Lancaster’s efforts to keep Merrigum to just 2.1 and kick 2.7 against the wind in the final term made a major difference.

With Steve Lawlor’s side trailing by 22 points, but kicking with the benefit of the wind in the final term, the job was by no means done for Corey Carver’s troops.

‘‘It was windy, so all the goals were scored at one end and going into the last quarter we just needed to hold them and we were able to come out even (in the final term),’’ Carver said.

‘‘They had a bit of momentum, so we were a little bit worried, so we put a couple back to stem the flow and won the ball through the middle.’’

Kicking with the breeze at Lancaster Recreation Reserve also reaped major returns for the home side in the opening term.

The Wombats piled on 5.3 to no score although Merrigum came into the contest in the second term.

Josh Smith kicked three goals for the Bulldogs, with Daniel Clarke, Tom Cooper and Todd Hicks taking charge in a losing effort.

But it was Michael Hill who did the damage, with his three goals just the beginning of the star player’s influence.

‘‘Hilly was very good and played a great game, so did Nathan Torney at centre half-back and Todd Hicks played half-back and he’s had a really good year,’’ Carver said.

The Wombats sit atop the Kyabram District Football League table with no loss from six games, but Carver is realistic about the run following the interleague bye.

‘‘We know we haven’t played the top teams yet and we’re aware of that, but we’ve been lucky with injuries unlike some other teams,’’ Carver said.

‘‘We’ve got a young group which might have helped us with them not having injuries, but their tackling and pressure has been better than I thought it would be from a young group.’’

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