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Blues tackle Grasshoppers at Toolleen

by Nathan Dole

TWO of the league’s red-hot teams, Mount Pleasant and Colbinabbin clash in this Saturday’s eighth round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s senior footy action.

Mount Pleasant has home-ground advantage at Toolleen as it chases a sixth consecutive victory.

Injuries have hit hard at Colbo, but the club is eyeing five wins in a row.

A brilliant run by the Darren Walsh-coached Mount Pleasant in the past four rounds has included a 15-point win against North Bendigo at Toolleen, 65-point victory at Elmore, five-point win at home to end Lockington Bamawm United’s unbeaten run, and 17-point win at Heathcote.

There have been plenty of contributors to the Blues’ streak.

Ben Weightman has kicked 32 goals and leads the league’s goalkicking race.

Zebb Murrell and Bryce Hinneberg were best in the latest victory and Mitch Bennett, Tom Pontell, Jesse Tuohey and Joseph Whiting are in great form.

The Blues will be without key defender Dale Young, but do regain Luke Marchesi.

Wayward kicking almost proved costly as Colbinabbin fought on to defeat White Hills, 8.20 (68) to 9.12 (66), in last week’s clash on the Grasshoppers turf.

Key players for the Julian Bull-coach Colbinabbin include Nick Knight, Hadleigh Sirett in the ruck, Sam Bowers, Ben Southam, Sam Vale and Matt Riordan.

The Grasshoppers will be keen to see former Richmond player Daniel Connors have an impact in attack, while Chris Guinane is the other inclusion.

It’s a must-win clash for White Hills against Huntly at Tint-A-Car Oval in Scott Street, White Hills.

The Sam Kerridge-coached Demons were defeated in their opening three games, but have since gone win, loss, win, loss.

White Hills will start favourite against a Hawks line-up which has endured 100-plus defeats in its past two hit-outs.

Key players for White Hills include Mitch Dole, 30 goals in six matches, as well as Rhys Irwin, Jake Allport, David Wright, Doolan Nihill, Gavin Bowles and Kris Bedford.

The Demons also regain former Carlton player Jed Lamb, but Pascale Craig is out.

The Denis Grinton-coached Huntly will be desperate to be far more competitive.

The play of Phil Ryan, Harry Whittle, Stacy Fiske, Steve Kairn, Josh Harris, Lachlan Brook, Patrick Andrews and Jaydon Cowling will be important in setting up attacks, but also putting greater pressure on the opposition.

Elmore meets a Lockington Bamawm United team stung by consecutive defeats to Mount Pleasant and North Bendigo.

The Bloods have home-ground advantage at Elmore Recreation Reserve.

A tally of six wins, which began with the 94-point triumph at White Hills in the stand-alone match on April 6, still has the Cats on top of the ladder.

The Cats played well last week, but a tally of 34-nil in North Bendigo’s favour in the third quarter was a telling factor.

In-form players for the Kahl Oliver-coached LBU include Jeremy Mundie, Zeik Johnston, key defender Rhys Woodland, Tyler Phillips in the ruck, and Marcus Angove.

The Cats’ attack is led by Patrick Gardiner, 23 goals; Lachlan Collins and Thomas Leech on 17 each.

Refreshed by last week’s bye, Elmore will be keen to perform well in front of its loyal fan base.

The Bloods fought on for a three-point win at Huntly in round two, and a week later defeated Leitchville Gunbower by five points at Elmore.

It’s been a lean run since.

Key players for Elmore include Bailey Boyack at half-back, Rhys Healey in the centre, James Atkinson in the ruck, Danny Brewster and Romain Grenville in attack.

North Bendigo should be too strong for Heathcote on the Bulldogs’ turf at Hibo Hotel Oval.

The Saints pushed Mounts in last Saturday’s match at Heathcote’s Pigeon Park.

A formidable North Bendigo attack is led by the marking power of Darcy Richards and Shane Harris, and has Zac Alford, Tyson Findlay and Joel Helman capable of setting up chances or kicking goals.

The Bulldogs will be without leading goalkicker Brady Herdman.

In-form players for the Bulldogs include Jordan Ford, Aarryn Craig, Jarrod Findlay and Tom Metherell.

Midfield duels will be important.

The Wayne Primmer-coached Saints had Codie Price, Darcy McLean and Louis Piccolo team brilliantly against Mount Pleasant.

A defence led by Nick Tobin, Nathan Bake,  Brayden Klemke and Liam Edwards will rely a lot on pressure from up the ground.

Leitchville Gunbower has the bye.

Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:

Lockington Bamawm United 161, 24; North Bendigo 150, 20; Colbinabbin 139, 20; Mount Pleasant 129, 20; Leitchville Gunbower 107, 12; White Hills 113, 8; Elmore 57, 8; Huntly 45, 4; Heathcote 59, 0.

 

 
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