Lake Wendouree 13.16 (94)
Melton 8.14 (62)
NO MUD, no weary legs and no soccer-like final score. There were many benefits for Lake Wendouree when it downed Melton by 32 points in its transferred home game at Eastern Oval on Saturday.
The Sectrol Lakers relished the dry conditions, producing a stylish display for a 13.16 (94) to 8.14 (62) victory.
The youthful Lakers outfit set up the win with five unanswered third quarter goals.
Lake Wendouree coach Gavin Webb acknowledged the shift from the Lakers’ heavy Harcourts Oval to the league’s premier venue in town helped his side considerably.
“It helped because Melton has some bigger bodied players,” Webb said.
“We knew it was going to take four quarters where we had to keep doing the little things to succeed.
“We have the bye and then we will treat our next two games, against East Point and Redan, as mini finals. We want to finish on a positive note to take something into next year.”
Webb surprised the Metricon Bloods by starting the game at full forward and the move paid immediate dividends with the three first term majors.
Melton, also enjoying the benefits of playing on a smooth green top, responded to take a four-point lead into quarter time. Two early second quarter goals to Melton’s James Aquilina extended the Bloods lead to a handy 12 points, but it could have much more if three Melton shots had not bounced off the woodwork.
The Bloods’ margin was further reduced when Webb bobbed up for his fourth major and teammate, Ben Hayes successfully converted a tight angle shot into two flags.
Further shots at goal from both teams only resulted in a flurry of minor scores and Melton held a three-point lead at half-time.
However, the Bloods had bigger worries when centre half forward Darren Haby left the ground with an ankle injury leaving the visitors without a key focal point.
Lake Wendouree took full advantage of Melton losing Haby and fellow big man Ash Webber in the third term to dominate the inside 50s and break open the match by slotting through five goals.
The Lakers stuck resolutely to their team plan in the final quarter and were rewarded with early goals to midfielders, Ben Taylor, Billy Anderson, and Brock Orval.
Melton rallied with several late goals including two majors from ruckman Shane Undy, but it wasn’t enough to stop Lake Wendouree from recording a well deserved third victory of the season.
Melton coach Bob Heaney refused to blame injuries to key players as a reason for their loss.
“We started well and our tackles were really good in the first half, but Lake Wendouree were much harder and wanted the ball more,” he said.
Lake Wendouree’s Andrew Pitson marks over Melton’s Nick Gale. Punching to the right is Lakers’ Sam Clifton and Melton’s Heath Drape with Melton’s Ben Kennedy looking on in front. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD.
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