By Arian Odza
Heathmont have claimed their first win of the 2021 Division Two season against local rivals Ringwood and brought their cherished Parker Cup back home in the process.
The Jets and Redbacks put on a thrilling spectacle on Friday night in front of a substantial crowd, with the see-sawing affair finishing 10.8(68) to 9.9(63).
The win puts the Jets fifth on the ladder, one game out of the top four and two games behind second place Boronia, whom them play this week.
Assured and attacking play from Fin Brown (3 goals v Ringwood) and Ryan Burleigh were key to Heathmont getting off the mark on Friday night and will be key to their chances against the undefeated Hawks this coming week.
“Ringwood have been the benchmark for three or four years without winning a grand final within this competition, so winning does bring confidence,” Rutley said of his sides gritty win.
“The win was a great piece of reward for the team and gives us a really big boost going into the Boronia game.”
Talking about the significant crowd at HE Parker Reserve and whether it motivated the Jets, Rutley stated, “We actually had a lot of volunteers at the match, so they might have definitely motivated the players.”
“It was a motivation piece we spoke about during the week, so we spoke about playing for them because of the hard work they do, so to give them something to celebrate about was brilliant.”
The game involved an intensity that ensured both teams were out on the feet come the final moments.
The Jets were dominant on the scoreboard in the first half, shooting out to a 15-point lead at the main break, before the Redbacks charged in the third term, hitting the front heading into the final term.
With regards to the high skill level of the Jets throughout the game, Rutley stated, “As a coach you are in that constant battle with the other coaches’ box, you are so focused with the result and don’t really look at that,”
“But according to reports the product was really good to watch.”
The matchup against the Hawks should produce another game that consists of pressure, attacking footy and hopefully for Rutley and the Jets, four more points.
The Jets understand the good form of the Hawks and are aiming to be their first loss of the season.
“They get a lot of respect from us, but I’m new and got a lot of new players in the team and we are quite young, but we also have some really nice blend of experience through there as well and we are gelling really well.”
“But we are really looking forward to having a crack at them and seeing where we’re at against these good teams.”