Ripper! Rippon gets Lakers back into top six
Lake Wendouree 16.16 (112) defeated Melton South 7.3 (45)
A COMPREHENSIVE sixty-seven-point victory has seen Lake Wendouree move back inside the top six of the McDonalds Ballarat Football League.
It was a picture-perfect sunny day at the C. E. Brown Reserve with the Lakies slick ball movement and outside spread far too much to handle for Melton South.
2015 VFL JJ Liston Trophy winner Nick Rippon was the star of the show with the high possession midfielder sneaking forward to start the game and booting three majors within the opening ten minutes to get the Lakers off to a red hot start.
Rippon continued to dominate, with Dale Powers’ makeshift forward line – headed by midfielder Jacob Coxall – out of the goal square able to capitalise with five opening term majors, highlighted by captain Ash Simpson snapping truly to get one in his 100th match.
For the Panthers, veteran Matt Notman goaled with the final disposal of the opening term to add some respectability on the scoreboard with his two opening quarter goals making it only a 22-point margin despite the 10 Lakie scoring shots to the Panthers’ three.
With a slight zephyr blowing to the southern end of the ground, the Panthers were hopeful this would help them work their way back into the contest into the second term but some poor execution really cost them allowing Lake Wendouree to maintain a 23-point lead at the major break.
Big guns Dylan Conway, Ryan Pendlebury and Billy Lloyd all had their fair share of the footy for the Panthers but failed to find teammates when going forward with Callum McKay and Lachie O’Connell having a field day as loose men across half back.
Conway ended with two goals for the afternoon to take his season tally to 17 and the outright lead in this year’s Tony Lockett Medal race.
The Lakies blew the Panthers away in the second half by a nine to three goal margin as lively youngster Timothy Collins snagged four majors to cap off the victory.
A mouth-watering clash with Redan awaits Lake Wendouree with a victory either way crucial to both sides finals aspirations.
The vulnerable Panthers are set to take on the bottom placed Darley Devils in a game that now pundits could really see going either way.