Rupertswood ended Riddell’s eight-game winning streak and returned to the winner’s list in the Riddell District Football League on Saturday.
Coming off a disappointing performance the week before against Macedon, the Sharks didn’t muck around early against the Bombers.
Sharks’ coach Kevin Fitzgerald said they put it on the playing group to respond after the below par performance the previous week. And he was pleased with how they bounced back.
They kept the Bombers goalless in the first quarter and led by 30 points at half-time. The Sharks put the game away in the third quarter and went on to win 16.8 (104)-6.8 (44).
“We thought we could have played a lot better last week so we just put it on the boys to respond and I think they did the job,” Fitzgerald said.
“In reality, the first four goals Riddell kicked were from our mistakes. I thought we did a really good job, we just didn’t finish off to give them the first four goals.
“Riddell are a lot like us, with a lot of kids in amongst it … They’re really good [and] aggressive defensively.
“I felt we outworked them and that was what I was more happy with, we worked hard.”
Todd Podolczak and Sean Hetherington kicked four goals each in the win and both were named in the best.
Jayden Egan became the ninth player to make his senior debut this season for the Sharks. Fitzgerald said the players coming through continue to press their claims for a senior spot.
“We’ve played 42 different blokes in our seniors this year,” he said.
“You can whinge about who you haven’t got, but every side is missing players.
“We’ve been able to bring in blokes and still been able to get into a winning position despite missing players
“We’ve played a lot of kids … When you look at the age profile, we’re young. They’re good footballers, but inexperienced, that’s the question – can they do it when the heat’s on?”
The Sharks are second on the ladder, a game behind Macedon and percentage ahead of third-placed Diggers Rest.
With matches against Woodend-Hesket (ninth) and Rockbank (11th) in the final two rounds, the Sharks have their eyes firmly set on a top two spot.
The loss leaves the Bombers sitting on the edge of the top six, a game clear of seventh-placed Sunbury Kangaroos.
The Kangaroos finals hopes suffered a massive dint, with a shock 11.16 (82)-4.14 (38) loss to Melton Centrals.
Wallan, Macedon, Diggers Rest and Romsey all won their matches as expected.