EDFL’s winning return

Star ruckman Matt Gray and player-coach Daniel Fry with the EDFL''s interleague trophy. Pictures: COURTESY OF JEFF TULL

By Hayley Wildes

ELLINBANK AND DISTRICT FOOTBALL LEAGUE

REVIEW – AFL VICTORIA COMMUNITY CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Ellinbank and District Football League took care of the Horsham District Football Netball League in what was a fantastic return to interleague football for the EDFL over the weekend.

After not taking part in the AFL Victoria Country Championships last year, the EDFL wasted no time in stamping their authority on the contest with a dominant six-goal to one opening term at Ballarat City Oval on Saturday.

Their domination continued for the following two quarters and a 61-point lead at three quarter time meant the game was all but decided. A back-and-forth final quarter saw the EDFL run out 60-point winners, 14.7 (91) to 4.7 (31).

Catani’s Nic Visser, Longwarry’s Russ Lehman and Buln Buln’s star ruck-forward Matt Gray controlled the midfield battle, while Tom Wyatt was dynamic up forward, booting four goals.

EDFL Coach, Daniel Fry – who was a late inclusion to play – talked about the game and what won his side the game.

“The scoreboard might reflect that we had it all our way, but that definitely wasn’t the case. Horsham would’ve absolutely had as much of the ball, it’s just that our pressure was really good.” He said.

“Our pressure around the ball – created by the likes of Nic Visser, Dylan Heylen, Russ Lehman and Chris Robinson – they were really putting a lot of pressure on around the ball which was just creating turnovers.”

Poowong’s Wyatt was awarded the best on ground medal.

“He’s a really good kid – I’ve got nothing but great things to say about [Tom].” Fry said.

“Every time I’ve played against Poowong, he’s played really well and he’s somebody that probably flies under the radar at other clubs, but he certainly doesn’t at Longwarry. He made the most of his opportunities and it was well deserved.”

The return to interleague football for the EDFL was made all that more impressive with wins to the under-16 and under-18 teams – making it a clean sweep on the day.

The under-16s took home the win 12.3 (75) to 6.4 (40), with Warragul’s Lachlan Crook best on ground. Meanwhile, the under-18s claimed an 11.9 (75) to 9.6 (60) win, with Nyora’s Travis Stewart awarded best on ground honours.

“To go down there after not being represented for a year, and to come away with three wins, it was really pleasing for the league.” Fry said.

“I hope that interleague footy can really stamp itself back on the Ellinbank competition after being out of it for a year.”

“The buy-in we had with the 22 that ran out on Saturday, I’d have no problem putting them up against any other league next year.”

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