Led by former AFL forward Anthony Rocca, Tallygaroopna is riding a high after getting the better of Violet Town to break its duck in Kyabram District Football League.OLIVER CAFFREY May 12, 2014 3:20am
It was a perfect day for Tallygaroopna.
The Anthony Rocca-inspired Redlegs secured their first Kyabram District Football League win of the season on Saturday, downing Violet Town by 25 points.
Former AFL player Rocca was playing his second game for Tallygaroopna after kicking six goals against Stanhope last year.
He only kicked three this time, but his influence was just as profound, turning the tables on a heartbreaking last-minute defeat to the Lions in June.
Rocca provided a massive target in the forward line, with multiple Towners defenders forced to restrict him at marking contests.
With rain tumbling immediately after the opening siren, the huge Tallygaroopna crowd would have been forgiven for thinking goals would be hard to come by in wet and slippery conditions.
But the Redlegs raced out of the blocks, as three goals from Kane Handley helped the home side skip away to an early 18-point lead.
The Redlegs looked like running away with the contest at various stages throughout the afternoon, but the Towners were always able to pinch a goal when they needed it.
The Towners got to within nine points midway through the final term, but a goal on the break to Tyler Pedretti with a few minutes remaining sealed it for the Redlegs, sending the home crowd into rapture.
Towners coach Sean Horsburgh was everywhere, gathering a mountain of possession to inspire his side.
Dave D’Elia was the focal point up forward and converted most of his opportunities to finish with five goals.
Ryan Jennings was terrific, while Hayden Floate more than held his own against Rocca.
However, it was always going to be the Redlegs’ day.
New Redlegs coach Chris Earles said the team was relieved to have finally broken through.
‘‘We’ve been working hard all year, we’ve come up against some really good sides and the results haven’t come, but the effort has always been there,’’ Earles said.
‘‘We’re really relieved to get the win, but we know we have to move forward now and keep winning games of football.
‘‘It was just great to see them play as a side today, the way they stuck to their structures and kept sticking to their guns will instil some confidence in the group now.’’
The Redlegs’ defensive pressure was outstanding, as the Towners struggled to find space inside 50.
Tim Belford and Luke Hamilton not only prevented goals but provided great rebound run from defence.
Redlegs ruckman Mark Betson put in a giant effort, while Sean Arnold and Doug Wren played their part.
The result leaves the Towners with just one win after six rounds.
Horsburgh said it was a missed opportunity for his side.
‘‘It was pretty disappointing, we’ve had some tough weeks so we pencilled today in as an opportunity to get a win and hopefully get some confidence back,’’ Horsburgh said.
‘‘We gave them some early goals and we were able to work our way back into it a bit, but we’ve got too many passengers at the moment and we’re leaving it up to a few players.
‘‘We’ve got plenty of young kids in the team and we know where we’re at, it’s just disappointing because there were some good signs, but the consistency isn’t there.’’
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