FINALS pressure arrives a week early as Colbinabbin and Lockington Bamawm United clash in this Saturday’s 18th round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football League’s senior footy competition.
It’s also Bendigo Bank Round in which AFL Central Victoria marks the long-term sponsorship of footy-netball leagues across the region.
Bendigo Bank has teamed up with AFL Central Victoria to run a referral program.
By taking your banking across to Bendigo Bank your club will receive a percentage of the profits.
For more details about the referral program, contact your Bendigo Bank branch.
In the footy action it’s second against first on Colbinabbin’s turf at M.J. Morgan Reserve.
The Grasshoppers will be desperate to break LBU’s unbeaten streak.
In a season broken by three rounds not played because of lockdown, some clubs will again be hit as Melbourne-based players are not allowed to travel.
The Grasshoppers and Cats marked impressive wins when the season resumed last Saturday.
Colbinabbin beat Elmore by 91 points at home, and LBU kept Heathcote goalless in a 157-point victory.
When Colbo met LBU in round two it was the Cats who scored a 123-28 win at Nichol Trading Oval in Lockington.
LBU led 48-8 at half-time.
The Cats’ attack was led by Thomas Leech, Ben and James McPhee on three goals apiece.
Jed Brain and Stephen Tuohey kicked two goals for Colbo.
The Grasshoppers must apply greater pressure to LBU’s onball and midfield.
The Cats have brought in Brodie and Lachy Collins for Marcus Angove and Stan Brentnall.
A strong LBU attack is led by Jarod Bacon, Patrick Gardiner, Leech and Anthony McMahon.
Key players for the Cats include Jesse Collins, Joe Wolfe, Bart Phillips, Trent Bacon and Rhys Woodland.
Colbinabbin will look for big games from ruckmen/forwards Lochlan and Hadleigh Sirett; Nick Knight, Tom Hill and Patrick O’Brien in defence; Todd Clarke, Alex Van Ruiswyk, Jed Brain and Clint Shields.
After an extended break on the sidelines, Mount Pleasant is back to play Elmore at Toolleen Recreation Reserve.
A 20-goal win for the Darren Walsh-coached Mounts against Heathcote on July 31 was followed by the clash with Colibinabbin being called off because of lockdown and then a bye.
Blues’ gun forwards Ben Weightman and Rhys Deacon were in great form as they kicked seven and five goals in the win against Heathcote.
A talented Blues’ squad includes Michelsen medallist Adam Baird and his older brother, Travis; along with Liam Collins, Billy Mahony, Patrick O’Brien, Jesse Tuohey and Zebb Murrell.
The Bloods have brought in Tehumarie Callander and Ben Makepeace.
In-form players for the Dylan Friedberger-coached Elmore include ruckman Dylan Gordon, Mitch Cricelli, Zack Holmberg, Matt Gilmour and Nic Palmer.
In round two, Mounts won at Elmore by seven goals.
It was 19-all at quarter-time after Elmore scored 3.1 to 2.7.
The Blues led by 13 points at half-time and added 7.3 to 3.2 in the third term on the way to a 123-81 victory.
Deacon and Weightman led the attack on six and four goals.
Elmore’s leading goalkickers were Mitch Cricelli, three; Aloysio Ferreira and captain James Harney, two.
The third-placed North Bendigo is back on home turf at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street to take on Leitchville Gunbower.
The round two clash between these clubs at Degroot Roof Painting Gunbower Reserve was arguably Leitchville Gunbower’s best of the season.
A 25-point loss was the second-lowest for the Bombers in the 2021 campaign.
The Bulldogs led 33-27 at half-time and then surged to a four-goal buffer by the last change on the way to a 92-67 victory.
James Bennett, Storm Giri and Shane Harris kicked three goals.
The Bombers’ leading goalkickers were Billy Hawken and Ayden Walton on four each.
North Bendigo’s play has improved dramatically since that clash at Gunbower.
A powerful attack is led by the strong-marking Dylan Klemm and Shane Harris and includes the skilful Zaiyden Richards and Storm Giri.
A massive blow for the Matt Dillon-coached Bulldogs is the loss of triple premiership-player Tom Metherell after he broke his leg in the win at Huntly.
The versatile Bailey Wingrave is likely to take on Metherell’s role at half-back.
In-form players for the Bulldogs include ruck-rover Manny Thalasinos, captain and centreman Aarryn Craig, Jordan Ford and Tim Deveraux in defence.
It’s been a tough run for the young Leitchville Gunbower line-up.
Number one ruckman Lee Pollock marked his 200th match for the Bombers by being in last week’s clash at home with White Hills.
The Bombers have brought in Darcy Elliott and Bevan Taylor for Adam Pollock, Craig Taylor and Ayden Walton.
Other key players in the LG line-up include Tom Brereton and Josh Hawken in midfield, Billy Hawken, Alex Keath, Darcy Elliott and Abel Prout.
Heathcote takes on Huntly at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.
The Saints will be desperate for some early goals to build confidence.
In round two, Heathcote put up a great fight to be within 20 points of Huntly at the final siren.
The Hawks led 71-39 at three quarter-time, but the Saints won the last, 4.2 to 2.2.
Key players for the Wayne Primmer-coached Heathcote include Jackson Jones and Kai Cavallaro in attack, Jake Condon, Billy Price, Alex McIvor and Darcy McLean.
The Hawks have re-appointed Stacy Fiske for another season as coach.
Huntly has brought in Bailey Jones and Taylor Smart for Zandyr Barilari and Brandon Dimech.
Tyler Miles, Jay McDonald, Jordan Formosa and Jaydon Cowling are in form for Huntly.
White Hills has the bye
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Lockington Bamawm United 338 per cent, 54 points; Colbinabbin 184, 42; North Bendigo 137, 42; White Hills 127, 42; Mount Pleasant 118, 34; Huntly 96, 24; Elmore 53, 18; Heathcote 56, 12; Leitchville Gunbower 32, 4.
58 Jed Lamb, WH.
40 Ben Weightman, MP.
36 Jarod Bacon, LBU.
34 Dylan Klemm, NB.
32 James Harney, E; Thomas Leech, LBU.
28 Shane Harris, NB.
26 Lachlan Collins, LBU.
25 Jed Brain, C; Rhys Deacon, MP.
24 James McPhee, LBU; Stephen Tuohey, C.
Written by Nathan Dole.