NORTH Bendigo faces another big game on home turf when it tackles the ladder-leading Colbinabbin in this Saturday’s 10th round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s senior footy action.
The Bulldogs had the bye after a one-point victory against Mount Pleasant at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street.
It will be a tough assignment for the team in red, white and blue as the Grasshoppers are on the rebound from their first defeat of the season.
There will be extra incentive for North Bendigo to play well following this week’s passing of Colin Bennett, father of dual premiership-winning coach Robert who is back in charge at the kennel this season.
A premiership-winning player with the Bulldogs’ reserves in 1974, Colin’s commitment to the club lasted almost 50 years.
The Bennett family has played a significant role at North Bendigo for many years, Colin with the juniors as a coach and his wife, Denise as long-time treasurer for the senior club.
Their daughter, Skye also took on the role as club treasurer.
When these clubs met in round one on April 9 the Colbinabbin line-up kept the Bulldogs to a score of 4.8 at M.J. Morgan Reserve.
On that occasion it was Jed Brain, Ben Barton, Matt Riordan and Hadleigh Sirett who were the Grasshoppers’ best.
Best for the Bulldogs were key forward Dylan Klemm, wingman Nic Waterson, and Marcus Rogers.
A highlight of this Saturday’s match will be the duel between Bulldogs’ ruckman Jeremy Lambden and Colbo’s gun big man Hadleigh Sirett.
The Bulldogs regain Aarryn Craig and Jordan Ford who were sidelined for the win against Mounts because of concussion protocols.
A huge boost for North Bendigo is the inclusion of Hakeem Johnson from Kangaroo Flat.
Named in a forward pocket, Johnson’s pace, skill and attack at the contest are major strengths of his game.
Other key players for North Bendigo include Shane Harris, Daniel Reid and Tim Devereaux in defence, Matt Gray in attack and Sean Moyle.
Outs from the team which beat Mounts are Lachlan Ford, broken ankle; Jack Francis, and Zandyr Barilari.
The North Bendigo defence faces a big challenge against James and Jed Brain who kicked five and three goals in the clash with Mount Pleasant at Toolleen.
Players to watch for the Julian Bull-coached Colbinabbin include Todd Clarke, Lachlan Ezard, Stephen Tuohey, Logan Fitzgerald, Luke Moore, Hugh and Jimmy McMurtrie, Ben Southam, Alex van Ruiswyk, and Tim Holobowski.
Lockington Bamawm United is on home turf at Lockington to take on White Hills.
The Cats won the first-round clash in the Demons’ den by 71 points as Anthony McMahon kicked six goals in a best on ground performance.
Last Saturday the Brodie Collins-coached Cats struck back from their first defeat in many days to score an 111-point win against Elmore as McMahon booted five goals and Ben Fulford and Thomas Leech added four each.
A powerful LBU line-up includes Tyler Phillips in the ruck, Marcus Angove, Nathan and Trent Bacon, Thomas Leech, Riley McIvor and Joss Howlett.
The Jack Fallon-coached White Hills scored a 74-30 victory in round nine at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
Liam Bartels is in hot form in the Demons attack and will test the Cats’ defence.
Other key players for White Hills include experienced on-baller Brady Childs, Ben Bacon, Bayden Fallon in attack, Rhys Irwin, Doolan Nihill, and 251-game player, David Wright.
The Demons also have the class of Gavin Bowles and Mitch Dole at ground level in the forward 50m arc.
Mount Pleasant is back on the Toolleen ground to take on Elmore.
The Darren Walsh and Adam Baird-coached Blues mounted a brilliant final quarter fightback to beat Colbinabbin last Saturday.
In round one, the Blues won on Elmore’s turf as Ben Weightman kicked four goals and Billy Mahony, Zane Keighran and Fletcher White were best.
Mounts will look for big games from the likes of Chris Down in the ruck, Bailey and Fletcher White, Pat O’Brien, Bryce Hinneberg in defence, and Mitch Bennett.
The Blues also have the skill of Sam Greene, Jesse Tuohey and Dean Tydell.
The Bloods’ attack against the Blues in round one was led by Sebatian de Napoli, three goals, as Matt Gilmore, co-coach Dylan Gordon, and Kyle Armstrong were best.
Elmore will be determined not to allow Mounts to make a flying start.
The Dylan Friedberger and Dylan Gordon-coached Elmore was down 57-3 at quarter-time of the clash with LBU, but worked hard in the next two quarters as both teams added seven goals.
LBU then scored 8.5 to nil in the last term.
Best for the Bloods against the Cats included Dylan Gordon, Liam Gundry, Zack Holmberg, Bailey Sawyer, Jack Trewick and Regan Williams.
Others to watch in the Elmore line-up are Rhys Holmberg, Zac Laffy, Nic Kellow, Tannar Cerrone and Dylan Oaff.
Huntly tackles Heathcote in the Hawks’ nest at Strauch Reserve.
The Saints won the first-round clash at Heathcote, 86-61, as Braden Padmore kicked three goals in a best afield performance and Jackson Jones, Billy Price and Liam Birch played well.
Best for Huntly that day were Mitch Christensen, Tyler Miles, Jay McDonald and Connor Aldous.
The Stacy Fiske-coached Hawks will look to Brandon Dimech, Mitch Billings, Orion Downing, Tori Ferguson, Travis Mercadante, Luke Gray and Jaydon Cowling to lead the way to an upset victory against the Saints this time.
The task will not be easy as the Andrew Saladino-coached Heathcote fights to hold fifth place.
Best for the Saints in their 55-point win at Leitchville included Rhys Bolton, Connor Hamilton, Jackson Jones, Will Long, Mitchell McLean and Codie Price.
Heathcote is likely to have too many scoring options for the Hawks to stop.
The Saints attack includes Jordan and Kai Cavallaro, Jack Brooks and Mitch McLean.
Leitchville-Gunbower has the bye.
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Colbinabbin 201 per cent, 32 points; Lockington Bamawm United 186, 28; Mount Pleasant 170, 24; North Bendigo 130, 20; Heathcote 101, 16; White Hills 86, 16; Elmore 65, 8; Leitchville-Gunbower 38, 4; Huntly 55, 0.
41 Ben Weightman, MP.
32 James Brain, Colbo.
26 Jed Brain, Colbo.
24 Darcy Laffy, Elm.
23 Ben Fulford, LBU; Dylan Klemm, NB.
20 Matt Gray, NB.
19 Anthony McMahon, LBU.
17 Liam Bartels, WH; Jack Brooks, H’cote; Kai Cavallaro, H’cote.
16 Braden Padmore, H’cote; Rhys Woodland, LBU.
15 Laine Fitzgerald, Colbo.
14 Adam Baird, MP.
13 Cohen Kekich, WH.
12 Blake Azzopardi, LG; Jackson Conforti, H’cote; Bayden Fallon, WH; Billy Hawken, LG; Luke Moore, Colbo.; Tyler Phillips, LBU; Clint Shields, Colbo.; Stephen Tuohey, Colbo.
Written by Nathan Dole.