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Redbacks aim to stop Bulls’ run at Birchip

by Nathan Dole

WEDDERBURN will do all it can to halt the Birchip Watchem Bulls when the split 11th round in the Goldacres North Central Football League is completed on Saturday.

It’s a massive test for the Redbacks, fifth, against the second-placed Bulls at George Cartwright Oval in Birchip.

Victory would put Wedderburn back in the top four.

When these clubs last met in round four, Birchip Watchem won 90-66 at Donaldson Park in Wedderburn.

The Bulls charged to a 40-6 lead at quarter-time and kept Wedderburn to a goal in the first half as they led 60-8 by the long break.

Wedderburn did lift its play in the final hour, but the damage had been done.

Stephen Paulke and Doug Grining led Birchip Watchem’s attack on four and three goals.

Wedderburn’s gun full forward Sam Barnes kicked six as Declan Quin added three.

A powerful Bulls’ forward line includes Paulke, 41 goals; Lachlan Foott, 23; and Nathan Gordon, 15.

Players to watch in Birchip Watchem’s team include Fraser House in the centre, coach and ruckman Lochlan Sirett, onballers Stefan Pye and Sam Simmons, and a defence led by Dale Hinkley and Noonan.

In the absence of Sam Barnes, eye injury, Ben DeAraugo and Declan Quin have stepped up to be the key targets in Wedderburn’s forward line.

DeAraugo has kicked 20 goals and Quin is on 19.

Keys to Wedderburn’s chances of an upset include Jordan Hargreaves in the ruck, Jaran McKay as ruck rover, Danny Benaim and Jacob DeAraugo in defence, and Ritchie in the centre.

It’s the Demons versus Saints as Wycheproof Narraport hosts St Arnaud at Wycheproof.

The round four showdown ended in 107-68 win for the Saints at Lord Nelson Park.

St Arnaud scored 7.1 to 4.2 in the final term as Thomas Eltringham, seven goals, and James McNamee, four, starred.

The Demons’ attack was led by George Turner, three, and Ricky Allan, two.

Key players for St Arnaud include Jacob Tillig, Harley Durward, Ben Batters and Conlan Gunn.

On that occasion, Julian Bull was available for the Demons as Colbinabbin had the bye.

The play of George Turner, Robert Fawcett and Jed Bish will be crucial to an upset victory for Wycheproof Narraport.

In last week’s action, Boort lost to Charlton, 27 to 135; and Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers won 78-36 on Donald’s turf.

North Central FL senior footy ladder:

Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers 334 per cent, 44 points; Birchip Watchem 281, 36; Charlton 142, 28; Donald 114, 24; Wedderburn 127, 20; St Arnaud 80, 12; Wycheproof Narraport 47, 4; Boort 14, 0.

 
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