Cats get big win

Zachary Smedley. (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Tara Murray

It may have been a small win in terms of the margin for Macedon against Kyneton, but it was a big win in terms of the Riddell District Football League season.

The two teams entered the match equal on points and with an eye on fifth spot and a finals berth.

It was a match that was never going to be high scoring, with the ground at Tony Clarke Oval not in the best condition.

Not much would separate the teams with a goal to Dylan McDonald with three minutes to go, giving the Cats a 8.9 (57)-8.5 (53) win.

Cats coach Al Meldrum said it was an important win in the context of his side’s season.

“It was definitely a big win,” he said. “It was a big game for both teams and there was a lot at stake.

“It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for Kyneton, knocking off Romsey and then they would have been disappointed against Riddell.

“We were prepared that they would come across with everything to play for.

“It was a less than a goal game and this time we were on the right side of it. It now gives us a little bit of a gap.”

Meldrum said that he thought the Tigers had the better of the first half, before they got on top in the third quarter.

He said it felt at times both teams were walking on eggshells and there were a lot of mistakes.

“It was really close and really contested,” he said. “We were up for it and corrected a lot of things in the second half.

“We got momentum in the third quarter. We had an eight point lead at three quarter time.

“They kicked the first two goals of the final quarter.”

Despite owning a lot of the ball in the final quarter, the Cats struggled to convert their dominance in the final term.

A mark from a forward 50 stoppage to McDonald, who was able to convert, was enough to get the win.

Meldrum said they were able to manage the game from there to hold on.

Jason Cooke kicked four goals for the Cats.

Meldrum said he was one of the standouts, along with Sam Indian, who took a lot of important intercept marks, and Zach Smedley, who was the side’s most consistent player all day.

Ryan Pretty kicked three goals for the Tigers, with Caleb Fisher and Cody Young named their best.

The win had the Cats in fifth spot, a game and percentage ahead of the Tigers. The Cats also have a game in hand having had both their byes already.

Meldrum knows that if they want to play finals, it is in their own hands.

“It’s such a tight competition,” he said. “I thought we’ve been competitive with all the teams above us.

“I thought we played well against Diggers Rest and we didn’t win and we didn’t play so well and got the win this week.

“Sometimes you have to win ugly. The outcome will be whatever it is and we will finish where we deserve.”

In other results, Romsey beat Melton Centrals, Diggers Rest had a good win against Wallan and Riddell did just enough against Woodend-Hesket.