A HAT-TRICK of wins and the re-signing of a star player has delivered a memorable end to the season for Russells Creek.
Its 2018 campaign has come to an end, with the Warrnambool and district league fixture giving the Kangaroos a final-round bye this Saturday.
While Russells Creek co-coaches, the father and son combination of Bernie and Heath Moloney, remain unsure of whether they will continue in the top job in 2019, brilliant onballer Andy McMeel has committed for another season in the blue and white stripes.
McMeel has enjoyed an outstanding season and is one of the leading contenders for the J.A. Esam Medal, the league’s best-and-fairest award.
McMeel capped off a consistent season with an outstanding final three weeks, helping the Kangaroos to three wins in a row.
Wins over Panmure, Allansford and East Warrnambool lifted the Kangaroos to ninth place on the ladder, with a chance to climb to eighth if Panmure defeats Dennington this Saturday.
The end of season flurry took the Kangaroos’ win count to four for the season, adding to a round-five win over the Bulldogs.
It was the Kangaroos’ most successful season since they recorded eight wins in 2013.
Russells Creek last played finals in 2010.
Heath Moloney, who has led the club for the last two seasons, said things were on the way up for the Kangaroos.
“It was a really good way to finish the season,” Moloney said.
“To win our last three games was great and we didn’t just get over the line, we won each of those games by over 10 goals. We had a lot of injuries early in the season and new blokes coming into the team each week so it was hard to get settled.
“Once we got a few blokes back, we were able to gel and really focus on the way we wanted to play and our confidence started to grow.”
Moloney pointed to the form of full-forward Daniel Boyle as a major positive to come out of the season.
Boyle kicked 38 goals, including four bags of five goals or more.
“He gave us something to kick to, having that strong forward target was pretty important,” he said.
“It would be nice to land a few more key forwards and I think a bigger-body midfielder would be handy as well.”
Moloney was confident of a bright future for the club, with many of its most talented players 25 or under.
“A big pre-season will be important to build on the momentum we have got rolling in the back-end of this year,” he said.