Cats’ ruckman wins race for Cheatley Medal

LOCKINGTON Bamawm United ruckman Tyler Phillips has marked an unbeaten season with the Cats by winning the Sam Cheatley as fairest and best in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football League’s senior footy action for 2021.

At the end of a dramatic vote count held on Monday night livestreamed on Facebook via SupaYou, Phillips was on 18 votes to claim the prestigious honour.

Runner-up was White Hills coach Sam Kerridge on 17 votes.

Phillips is the third LBU player to win the Cheatley Medal.

Previous winners from the Cats were Adrian Dohnt in 2010 on 20 votes, and Michael Dobson in 2002.

The ability of Phillips to win many centre ball-ups and boundary throw-ins as well as marking contests was a key factor in LBU’s unbeaten run.

In a season again impacted by Covid lockdowns, LBU was the stand-out team.

The Brodie Collins-coached Cats won all 12 matches to be minor premiers.

LBU led the premiership race from Colbinabbin and North Bendigo, both locked on 9-3 records as White Hills, 8-4, and Mount Pleasant, 7-5, rounded out the top five.

Next best on the senior ladder were the Huntly Hawks on  5-8 record from Elmore, 3-9; Heathcote, 2-11; and Leitchville Gunbower, 0-13.

The senior goalkicking award was taken out by White Hills star Jed Lamb on 58.

Elmore key forward Mitchell Cricelli earned the Rising Star Award to cap a great year with the Bloods.

The Elmore and District Machinery Field Days-sponsored Public Vote Award went to Elmore’s athletic ruckman/forward Dylan Gordon.

HDFNL life membership was awarded to North Bendigo’s Aaryn Craig and Leitchville Gunbower ruckman Lee Pollock after they marked their 200th games this season.

The newest inductees to the club have been opponents in plenty of grand finals.

A great run by Craig in a midfield or on-ball role for the North Bendigo has included premiership wins in 2019, ’16 and ’15.

The Bulldogs beat the Leitchville Gunbower teams which included Pollock in the 2015 and ’16 grand finals.

Pollock and the Bombers beat the Bulldogs in the grand finals of 2017 and ’18.

Winner of the Tom Morgan Medal for fairest and best in the reserves competition was Jackson Hufer from Mount Pleasant.

Hufer polled 14 votes in a season where he and his Blues’ team-mates had an 11-1 record to be second on the ladder.

Runner-up was Huntly’s Taylor Smart on 11 votes.

Four years ago, Smart polled 32 votes to win the Morgan Medal.

Hufer is the first Mount Pleasant player to win the reserves award since Lachlan Begg in 2015.

It was an award double for the Blues as Jesse O’Connell’s tally of 56 clinched the goalkicking title.

The win-loss record for teams in the reserves competition was White Hills 12-1, Mount Pleasant 11-1, Huntly 10-3, LBU 5-5 and 1 forfeit, North Bendigo 5-7, Colbinabbin 4-8, Elmore 3-9, Leitchville Gunbower 3-10, and Heathcote 1-10.

Although his team won just four matches, Victor Butler’s play for Heathcote caught the umpires’ attention as he polled 28 votes to be a runaway winner of theDavid Roulston Medal as under-18s fairest and best.

Runner-up was Leitchville Gunbower’s Harry Wright on 13 votes.

Butler joined Jye and Josh Formosa, Jake Condon, Phil Di Donato and Lech Featherstone  as a David Roulston medallist from the Saints.

The under-18s goalkicking was taken out by Huntly’s Jackson Dole on 41 goals in a season where the Hawks’ young guns won all 13 matches.

Final standings in the under-18s were Huntly 13-3, White Hills 10-3, Mount Pleasant 8-4, LBU 8-4, Leitchville Gunbower 6-7, Colbinabbin 4-8, Heathcote 4-9, Elmore 3-9, North Bendigo 0-12.

The Syd Wickham Trophy for champion club was won by Mount Pleasant.

The Blues led the race from Elmore, White Hills, Huntly, North Bendigo, Lockington Bamawm United, Colbinabbin, Leitchville Gunbower and Heathcote.



Under 18 David Roulston Medal
Winner – Victor Butler, Heathcote Football Netball Club 28 Votes
Runner up – Harry Wright Leitchville Gunbower FNC, Zandyr Barilari Huntly   13 Votes

Reserves Tom Morgan Medal
Winner – Jackson Hufer, Mount Pleasant Football Netball Club 14 Votes
Runner Up – Taylor Smart, Huntly Football Netball Club  11 Votes

Seniors Sam Cheatley Medal
Winner – Tyler Phillips , Lockington Bamawm United Football Netball Club 18 Votes

Runner up – Sam Kerridge, White Hills Football Netball Club  17 Votes


Under 18 Goal Kicking award – Jackson Dole Huntly FNC  41 Goals

Reserves  Goal Kicking award –  Jesse O’Connell Mount Pleasant FNC – 56 goals

Senior  Goal Kicking award –  Jed Lamb White Hills FNC – 58 Goals

HDFNL Football Rising Star – Mitchell Cricelli  ELMORE FNC

Elmore & District Machinery Field Days – PUBLIC VOTE AWARD – Dylan Gordon ELMORE FNC


1st – Mount Pleasant FNC
2nd – Elmore FNC
3rd – White Hills FNC
4th – Huntly FNC
5th – North Bendigo FNC
6th – Lockington Bamawm United
7th – Colbinabbin FNC
8th – Leitchville Gunbower FNC
9th – Heathcote FNC

HDFNL LIFE MEMBERSHIP 200 senior games – 2021 presented to:
Aarryn Craig – North Bendigo FNC
Lee Pollock – Leitchville Gunbower FNC
Olivia McEvoy – Colbinabbin FNC


Written by Nathan Dole.