Goulburn Valley on-baller Will Martiniello has bounced back from a heavy hit to be best-on-ground in the Goulburn Valley's interleague victory over Ballarat.DAMEN FRANCIS May 26, 2014 3:10am
Ballarat forward Brenton Riordan probably thought he was doing the right thing when he laid out Goulburn Valley on-baller Will Martiniello early in the third term at Deakin Reserve on Saturday.
He was wrong.
It was a firm, but fair hit, but Martiniello got back up and dominated the remainder of the AFL Victoria Country Championships clash.
The Benalla hard nut went on to win the interleague medal for best-on-ground, as Goulburn Valley romped to a 65-point win and booked a shot at winning back the No.
‘‘I thought ‘Brucey’ (Shepparton forward Daniel Willis) was probably a bit stiff not to win the medal, but I’ll take it,’’ Martiniello said.
‘‘It took me a bit to get into the game, but after that I got a bit of the footy, which was good.
‘‘My role as a small midfielder is just to dish the handballs off to open players and use my skills when I can.
‘‘The opportunity to represent your league, I’ll take that anytime. It’s a great privilege, a good honour and hopefully I can play again next year.’’
Martiniello, 23, returned to the Saints this season after five years in the VFL and after battling injuries in recent seasons he’s enjoying a new lease on life.
He was named in the best two players in each of undefeated Benalla’s five games this season.
‘‘My whole family is around the club now, my dad is midfield coach, James is captain of the club, Hayley’s back playing netball, my older brother’s involved, Mum’s involved and just being back with my family and a few mates I’m enjoying my footy more,’’ he said.
‘‘Last time I played with Anthony Stevens and I was a young boy and it was the best league in country footy, so I’ve come back, the club’s going well and I’m loving it down there.’’
Martiniello carried his blistering club form into Saturday’s interleague clash.
As usual, much of his work went unheralded, as it came at the bottom of the pack, but as the game wore on he got his hands on more of the ball around the stoppages and the home side lifted in the clearances as a result.
He was also the first link in several scoring chains — his tackle on the forward flank moments after he was floored by Riordan forced a stoppage Goulburn Valley scored from and his spearing pass to Daniel Lewis a short time later were part of a nine goals to three third term that broke the game open.
Goulburn Valley’s on-ball rotation included Benalla teammates Josh Marchbank and Luke Morgan and he paid tribute to those players as well as league stars Lewis, Brendon Hollow and Tim Looby, who he enjoyed playing alongside, rather than against.
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for regions that include Shepparton. It includes damaging winds and the potential for flash flooding.
Pete O’Neill and Abby Hicks are national champions at the completion of the 2015 Australian Barefoot Championships held last week.
GVAC women Rachel Pratt and Jacquie Fitzpatrick showed the men, and the large crowd at Rushworth Speedway on Saturday, March 28, they have what it takes when competing in the men’s classes.
Two international backpackers have taken aim at contractors who hired them to pick fruit in the region without payment.
Rochester boxing coach Chris Trewin and his team of dedicated trainers have been hitting the bag for more than six months and the results are beginning to show.
Local MP calls for community applications
A special event will take place at Pioneer Park on Sunday.
Jerilderie's born and bred Madeleine Harris has been recognised for her banking and finance career
Concerned Costerfield residents had the chance to voice their antimony health concerns last week after an independent facilitator was appointed.
Strathmerton clinched a win in the high-scoring game against Mathoura on the weekend in the PDFL North West competition.
Deniliquin swimming dynamo Stephen Dalzell has finished 13th overall in his preferred event at the Australian Age Championships.
Murray Goulburn Co-operative has set a date for a special meeting to vote on a new capital structure.
Emergency services are on scene of a two-car crash on the Midland Hwy, near Benalla. Two people have died. Traffic is being diverted.
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