JUST who has the double chance for the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s senior footy finals series is far from decided.
It’s a three-way duel between Colbinabbin, North Bendigo and White Hills heading into Saturday’s 17th round.
Travel restrictions on Melbourne-based players will affect some teams more than others.
It’s Road Safety Round across AFL Central Victoria leagues so players and officials will wear blue armbands to promote the campaign.
Colbinabbin, North Bendigo and White Hills will all start favourite to take the points.
After a bye in the 15th round and then no play because of last week’s lockdown, Colbinabbin marks a return to action against Elmore at Colbinabbin’s M.J. Morgan Reserve.
When these clubs last met in round one on April 10, Colbinabbin unleashed a devastating final term to win on Elmore’s turf by 63 points.
The Grasshoppers led 63-40 at three quarter-time and slammed on eight goals in the last to complete a 116-53 victory.
Stephen Tuohey kicked a team-high three goals for Colbo as Ben Southam, Lachlan Ezard, Laine Fitzgerald and Lochlan Sirett were best.
Elmore captain James Harney kicked five goals to be best for the Bloods along with Nic Kellow, Dylan Gordon and Bailey Boyack.
The Dylan Friedberger-coached Elmore will be determined to capitalise on more forward 50m entries in this match.
The Bloods strung together some great passages of play in the round 15 clash with North Bendigo, but was let down by wayward kicking at goal.
Leading goalkickers for the Bloods are James Harney, 30; Dylan Oaff, 13; and the strong-marking Mitch Cricelli on 12.
The Elmore attack faces a tough ask against a Grasshoppers defence led by Tom Hill, Nick Knight and David Price.
Colbo’s attack is led by Stephen Tuohey, 23; and Jed Brain, 20.
Other key players for Colbo include Todd Clarke, Laine and Logan Fitzgerald, while coach Julian Bull and Chris Guinane are on the bench.
Huntly takes on North Bendigo at Specialist Breeders Australia Oval in Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
In round one, North Bendigo scored a 76-42 win against the Hawks at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street.
Shane Harris kicked three goals for the Bulldogs and captain Aarryn Craig chipped in with two.
The Stacy Fiske-coached Huntly will need to find a way to stop Dylan Klemm and Shane Harris dominating the aerial contests after they dominated in North Bendigo’s win at Elmore.
The Bulldogs leading goalkickers are Klemm, 31; Harris, 26; and Craig, 17.
North Bendigo has Jordan Ford, Manny Thalasinos, Ryan Alford and Tom Metherell in form.
It’s a danger game for North Bendigo as the Hawks have played well at home against Lockington Bamawm United and White Hills.
Key players for Huntly include Jay McDonald at centre half-back, ruck-rover Tyler Miles, Jaydon Cowling in the centre, Brandon Dimech at full-back and Connor Aldous on a wing.
Huntly will be without gun onballer Ryan Semmel who is also the leading goalkicker on 22.
Next best for the Hawks is Cowling on 12.
At North Bendigo, Jack Towers has earned a recall to start in a back pocket and Andrew Bennett is on a wing.
The unbeaten Lockington Bamawm United takes on Heathcote at Lockington’s Nichol Trading Oval.
In round one, LBU won 47 points after being up by just 20 points at three quarter-time of the clash at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.
Hot favourites to win the premiership, LBU showed its goalscoring power and ruthless play when it beat White Hills by 134 points in the 15th round at Lockington.
A strong attack for the Cats is led by Jarod Bacon, 33 goals; Thomas Leech, 28; Lachlan Collins, 23; and James McPhee, 21.
Key players for LBU include Jarod and Nathan Bacon in midfield, Rhys Woodland at centre half-back, on-ballers Brodie Collins and Ben McPhee, and Patrick Gardiner and Thomas Leech in attack.
The Saints’ best in round one against the Cats were William Long, Matt Mikic, Dillon Hardy and Darcy McLean.
It’s the Bombers against the Demons as Leitchville Gunbower tackles White Hills at Degroot Roof Painting Reserve in Gunbower.
Earlier in the year, White Hills scored a 146-point win against the LG line-up as Jed Lamb, eight goals, and coach Sam Kerridge, four goals, dominated a lot of contests.
The Demons will be keen to rebuild confidence after a big loss at Lockington.
Leitchville Gunbower will rely a lot on the play of Lee Pollock in the ruck, Blake Gelletly, Alex Keath and Abel Prout in defence, Tom Brereton and Josh Hawken in midfield, Ayden Walton and Adam Pollock in attack.
White Hills will be without several metro-based players, including coach Sam Kerridge.
A squad of 24 for the Demons includes assistant coach Jack Fallon, captain Mitch Dole, David and Hayden Wright, ruckman Lachlan Sidebottom, Gavin and Rohan Bowles, Jake Allport and Tate Mifka.
Gun forward Jed Lamb has kicked 58 goals to lead the goalkicking race, but is on the sidelines for this match.
Mount Pleasant has the bye.
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Lockington Bamawm United 308 per cent, 50 points; Colbinabbin 178, 38; North Bendigo 131, 38; White Hills 120, 38; Mount Pleasant 118, 34; Huntly 104, 24; Elmore 54, 18; Heathcote 63, 12; Leitchville Gunbower 32, 4.
Written by Nathan Dole.