Romsey rebounded from a disappointing effort against Wallan to shock reigning premiers Diggers Rest on Saturday. The Redbacks turned in a very disciplined performance to win by six points, injecting fresh interest into the premiership race.
After four rounds, Macedon is now the only unbeaten team, producing a 12-goal last quarter blitz to overwhelm Riddell by 103 points.
This Saturday the Riddell League will play West Gippsland in football and netball matches at Macedon's Tony Clarke Reserve, with the next home and away round on Saturday, May 20.
Romsey coach Corey O'Sullivan had plenty of reasons to be pleased with the Redbacks' performance against the visiting Diggers Rest lineup. Shrewd positional moves paid dividends for the Redbacks and their taller players had a big influence on the outcome.
Ruckman Connor Whelan was in fine form, and Nathan Hoy (three goals) and Ben Way gave the home side confidence in the key forward positions.
Ayden Tessari was a dynamo in defence and his brother Nathan and Jayden Caruna were also prominent in a Redbacks' team which produced by far its best team effort this season.
The Redbacks blunted the Burras' scoring options but wasted several good chances for goals in the second term.
A 2-6 to 1.4 half-time scoreline was strange, but the Redbacks had momentum.
An even third term set the stage for a pulsating fourth quarter, and it was Romsey which scored the only goal to secure a well-deserved 6.11 (47) to 6.5 (41) triumph. The win may well be crucial in the Redbacks' bid for a finals berth.
As a direct result of Romsey's victory, other teams with finals aspirations are likely to reach the conclusion Diggers Rest is far from unbeatable this season.
Macedon coach Jeff Andrews could not be happier with his lineup after four rounds, but he, and everyone else at the Riddell ground, did not see the remarkable fourth quarter scoring spree coming. Goals came from all angles, and ruckman Tom Waters was back to his best.
Andrews said "keeping the pressure on" was the key, and the Cats were able to contain the Bombers' prime movers in the second half.
A multi-pronged attack makes the Cats very dangerous, and the in-form Jason Cooke and strong recruit Chris Kilmartin each finished with five goals, and the dynamic Shaun Harrison and Matthew Knox three apiece.
It is the first time the Cats have beaten the Bombers for five seasons, and a much longer wait to win on the Riddell ground, where these two sides fought out an agonising finals match last season.
Riddell defender Tim Walsh battled valiantly, and the relatively young Bombers are better than the final score of 21.14 to 5.7 indicated.
The other matches on Saturday were one-sided. Lancefield's second half was encouraging but Sunbury Kangaroos finished with a 16.18 to 4.10 margin. The very consistent James Woosnam was again in the Tigers' best.
Woodend-Hesket again found goals hard to come by in the first half against Rupertswood, with six behinds for the Hawks against six goals for the home side. Final score was 13.11 to 2.7.
Melton Centrals downed Broadford 21.9 to 11.7, and Wallan prevailed 17.12 to 8.6 at Rockbank.
Macedon 10.5 d Riddell 5.16, Diggers Rest 15.7 d Romsey 2.7, Sunbury Kangaroos 21.14 d Lancefield 0.1, Rupertswood 19.11 d Woodend-Hesket 2.4, Wallan 19.24 d Rockbank 2.3.
Diggers Rest 5.12 d Romsey 4.6, Rupertswood 7.11 d Woodend-Hesket 3.7, Riddell 10.9 d Macedon 4.10, Wallan 30.13 d Rockbank 1.2, Sunbury Kangaroos 16.8 d Melton Centrals 4.7.
Romsey A grade netballers maintained their flag favouritism with a convincing 52-36 victory over Diggers Rest on Saturday.
Macedon retained top spot with a 45-35 margin against Riddell, and Lancefield continued an unbeaten run with a runaway 71-28 effort against Sunbury Kangaroos.
Rupertswood dominated in a 70-31 result over Woodend-Hesket, and Melton Centrals downed Rockbank 54-17.
Ladder: Macedon 16, Lancefield 16, Romsey 16, Diggers Rest 12, Rupertswood 8, Melton Centrals 8, Riddell 4, Rockbank 0, Woodend-Hesket 0, Sunbury Kangaroos 0.
The highlight was a thrilling 38-38 tie between Riddell and Macedon. Romsey 26 d Diggers Rest 22, Rupertswood 51 d Woodend-Hesket 21, Wallan 28 d Rockbank 18, Melton Centrals 30 d Broadford 25, Lancefield d Sunbury Kangaroos.
Diggers Rest 36 d Romsey 7, Riddell 22 d Macedon 21, Rockbank 33 d Wallan 12, Melton Centrals 33 d Broadford 5, Lancefield d Sunbury Kangaroos, Rupertswood d Woodend-Hesket.
Macedon 34 d Riddell 7, Rupertswood 32 d Woodend-Hesket 18, Diggers Rest 20 d Romsey 14, Rockbank 33 d Wallan 2.