Melton came away with the win against arch-rival Melton South, but had to work a lot harder for the four points than they would have liked in the opening round of the Ballarat Football League.
The Bloods dominated the game for the most part, but the scoreboard didn’t reflect that.
The game could have been over at half-time, if not for the Bloods wasteful kicking at goal.
While the Panthers continued to push hard, eventually weight of numbers saw the Bloods kick away in the last quarter.
The Bloods winning, 12.27 (99)-6.11 (47).
While Bloods’ coach Aaron Tymms was happy to get the win, he was frustrated with the poor goalkicking, having had 22 more shots on goal.
“We were happy to get the win, but a little bit disappointed how we went about it,” he said.
“One of our key focuses at the start of the year was to get better with goalkicking as we were pretty horrible with it last year, that sort of continued today.
“It’s something we have to continue to work on.”
Tymms said while they could have put the game away earlier, he paid tribute to the pressure that the Panthers were able to put on them early in the game.
The Bloods saved their best quarter for the end to seal the game, kicking 5.8 in that term.
“To our boys’ credit, after half-time they picked up the pace, got the choccies in the end,” Tymms said.
“While 5.8 is still not great, at least we kicked a couple of snags.
“To get a win in round one shows the boys have a bit of resilience from what happened in the last game [grand final] last year.”
Tymms said a lot of their midfielders were the standouts across the whole day.
Connor Griffiths and Jaycob Hickey, along with recruits Dyson Stevens, Shaun Campbell and Anthony Hibbert, were all named in the best.
Tymms had special praise for the role Mitch Brockwell played on Dylan Conway, keeping him goalless.
Daniel Leggett was named the Panthers’ best, with Will Thornton-Gielen kicking four goals.
The win had one downside for the Bloods with Matt Denham hurting his hamstring.
Tymms said they were unsure how bad it was.
On the plus side for the Bloods, they have a number of players in the reserves that can step up into the senior side.
“We retained everyone and added a bit of depth, hopefully we are a little stronger this year.”
The Bloods have this weekend off due to Easter, before a grand final rematch against East Point the following week.
Tymms said it was one match they were looking forward to.
“The well-awaited one, the big one.”
In other results, Darley beat the Sunbury Lions, 13.13 (91)-7.13 (55).
Darren Leonard was named the Devils’ best.
Bacchus Marsh lost to North Ballarat City, 9.23 (77)-9.9 (63).
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