By Todd Whelan
Interleague – Ballarat v Goulburn Valley
THE Ballarat Football League were brave on the game’s biggest stage but overrun late, falling short of an impressive Goulburn Valley outfit by 22 points last Saturday.
Despite the loss, Bacchus Marsh and Darley had seven representatives who were able to ‘live the dream’, that is to run out and play on the hallowed turf that is the MCG.
And one in particular could say he starred in it.
Bacchus Marsh forward Ben Speight had a day to remember. His eight goals included five in the second half which happened to be his last five kicks for the game. Given the 28-year old took just three marks, highlights how dangerous he can be at ground level. His ability to win his own ball or finish off handball receives had a profound influence. Speight, at 179cm has the ability to play tall, he leads up and reads the play well and is deadly on the outside with his conversion around goal. He seemed to thrive the better the standard of footy.
Darley ball magnet Brian Graham wasn’t far behind and looked right at home on the ‘G’. The huge ground with its expansive dimensions would test the endurance of all midfielders below the top level. Graham was the exception in this case. His ability to get to contest after contest paid homage to the raps bestowed upon him at club level.
Ballarat led by as much as 16 points at the 12-minute mark of the third term but were unable to sustain the advantage. The Goulburn Valley showed why its touted as one of the best country leagues going around, reeling in the deficit and pulling away in the end with a dominant seven goals to two final term.
Moving forward, there’s plenty to get excited about in the BFNL at club level. The season is delicately poised after just four rounds, each club presents its own unique strengths and challenges. Be sure to get to your local footy, there’s some serious talent on show for all to see and appreciate right here at your doorstep.
This Saturday Apple 98.5FMs match of the round returns to Darley Park for the Devils home game against Redan with LIVE broadcast from 2pm. Bacchus Marsh will travel to East Point for their first trip up the highway this year.