ROMSEY came out on top after a hard-fought contest against the Riddell District Football League reigning premier on Saturday.
The Redbacks, who defeated Diggers Rest in the 2014 and ’15 grand finals before finishing ninth last year, prevailed 6.11 (47) to 6.5 (41) and inflicted the Burras’ first defeat of the season.
“While we’re really happy to get the win, we’re probably more happy that we’ve been able to maintain a four-quarter effort,” coach Corey O’Sullivan said.
“What we took away from the game is that if we play near our best football for long enough, we can certainly cause some trouble.
“We had no passengers (on Saturday), which couldn’t be said for the first three games of the season.”
Playing at home, Romsey led by six points at the final change and held on to win after both teams kicked just one goal each in the last term.
“Diggers obviously didn’t play their best but that had a lot to do with a couple of match-ups we set in place, and we were perhaps a little more wary of our direct opponent,” O’Sullivan said. “It was a really important game because if we didn’t get the result here ... the season would have started to slip away.”
O’Sullivan described ruckman Connor Whelan’s game as “huge” after Nathan Hoy (three goals) came in with a knee complaint.
Jaidyn Caruana, Ayden Tessari and Jack Jedwab, also impressed, while Matt Burkett maintained the fine spell of form which has seen him named best afield twice already this season.
“He is a quality player who is hard to tag because he is strong at the contest, has good leg speed and just a really smart footballer,” O’Sullivan said of Burkett.
Representative of the team’s consistent line-up, with 24 players used this season, only James Carroll (shoulder) and Phil Durston (family commitment) missed the game, with others still working their way back.