Bombers score one-point victory on Huntly’s turf
LEITCHVILLE GUNBOWER ended its winless run in senior footy as it scored a one-point victory in its first match of the 2022 Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League season on Easter Saturday.
The Bombers took on Huntly in the Hawks’ nest at Strauch Reserve in round two, but week three of the season.
It was the Hawks who made a flying start to the contest and led 25-7 at quarter-time.
The Tim Bannan-coached Bombers fought back brilliantly to score 5.1 to 3.2 in the second to be within seven points at half-time.
Led by the play of Josh Hawken, Jobee Warde and forward Blake Azzopardi, Leitchville Gunbower charged to a 10-point lead at a quarter to go.
The Stacy Fiske-coached Huntly won the last term, 29-20, but it was Leitchville Gunbower which triumphed 84-83.
Azzopardi kicked a match-high seven goals to be among the best with Hawken who kicked three majors, ruckman Warde, Leyton Shenfield, Blake Cooke and Mitchell Candy.
Huntly’s attack was led by Orion Downing, four; and Mitch Christensen, two.
Best for the Hawks were Tyler Miles, Jaydon Cowling, Jay McDonald, Travis Mercadante, Kyle Forster and Mitch Billings.
The Bombers had not won a senior match since round 16 of the 2019 season when they beat Huntly by 55 points on August 3 at Gunbower.
Seven goals by Cody Riddick in his senior debut capped a 10-goal win by North Bendigo against Elmore at Hibo Hotel Oval in North Bendigo’s Atkins Street.
It was a memorable day for Riddick as the young full-forward kicked 10 in a 99-point win by the Bulldogs’ under-18s against the young Bloods.
In the senior clash, Riddick mainly played from a pocket or across half-forward where his athleticism and marking power were to the fore.
The Bloods applied plenty of pressure in the opening term and were rewarded with goals by Darcy Laffy and consecutive majors by Nic Palmer as they raced to a 20-10 lead.
The Bulldogs fought back through captain Aarryn Craig with a snapshot on goal and then another after he broke through a tackle and made no mistake.
It was then Riddick who took a strong mark and kicked goal number one for the Dogs to lead 29-20 at quarter-time.
Both teams added three goals apiece in the second as North Bendigo led 53-39 at half-time.
A contested mark and goal by Nick Page gave the Bloods the ideal start to the third term.
The Robert Bennett-coached Bulldogs then upped their intensity and run and were rewarded with goals by Riddick, Manny Thalasinos, Craig and Shane Harris to lead by 31 points.
The talented Rhys Holmberg showed his marking power to score consecutive goals to trim the margin, but Dylan Klemm, Matt Gray and then another two by Riddick capitalised on North’s dominance off half-back and through midfield.
The high of North’s four goals in the last was a shot by Jack Francis on the run as the Bulldogs went on to win 19.20 (134) to 11.8 (74).
Bulldogs’ ruckman Ryan Gow was best afield as Riddick, Craig, rover Nathan Newlan, Lachlan Ford and Daniel Reid across half-back starred for the red, white and blue.
Best for Elmore were Rhys Holmberg, Tannar Cerrone, Nic Palmer, Zack Holmberg, Bailey Sawyer and Matt Gilmour.
A major blow for the Bloods was a groin injury to co-coach and gun ruckman-forward Dylan Gordon which led to him being on the sidelines in the second half.
Elmore’s other co-coach Dylan Friedberger also did not play.
Lockington Bamawm United’s scoring power was on show against Heathcote at Lockington.
The Brodie Collins-coached LBU won 19.22 (136) to 8.7 (55).
Rhys Woodland kicked a game-high four goals as Ben Fulford added three.
Other multiple goalkickers for the Cats were Marcus Angove, Jarod Bacon, Jacob Gardiner and Anthony McMahon on two each.
Leading goalkickers for the Saints were Jack Brooks, Connor Hamilton and Jackson Jones on two.
Jeremy Mundie was best afield for LBU as ruckman Tyler Phillips, Thomas Leech, Woodland, Jarod Bacon and Brodie Collins all played well.
Best for the Andrew Saladino-coached Heathcote were Connor Hamilton, Jordan Cavallaro, Jack Brooks, Jackson Jones, Kai Cavallaro and Brayden Klemke.
Four of Mount Pleasant’s big guns – Ben Weightman, Adam Baird, Zane Keighran and Chris Down were in top form as the Blues beat White Hills by 76 points at Toolleen.
A star goalkicker for Mounts and previously Kyneton, Weightman booted four goals and was best afield in thw 21.13 (139) to 9.9 (63) victory.
A Michelsen medallist and premiership winning onballer with Golden Square, Baird has started his second season with the Blues in top form.
Keighran and top ruckman Down have joined the Blues from Golden Square and Sandhurst respectively and won plenty of contests on Saturday.
Mount Pleasant’s attack was led by Dean Tydell on six goals as Weightman, four, and Baird, three, also finished off attacking moves.
Leading goalkickers for White Hills were coach Jack Fallon and Samual Lowes on two.
The Blues’ best included Tydell and Fletcher White.
Best for the Demons were Lowes, Kaiden Skelton, Jake Dickens, Rhys Irwin, Brady Childs and Jack Fallon.
Colbinabbin had the bye.
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Colbinabbin 233 per cent, 8 points; Lockington Bamawm United 227, 8; Mount Pleasant 191, 8; North Bendigo 114, 8; Leitchville Gunbower 101, 4; Heathcote 79, 4; Huntly 84, 0; Elmore 51, 0; White Hills 46, 0.
8 Dylan Klemm, NB; Anthony McMahon, LBU; Dean Tydell, MP; Ben Weightman, MP.
7 Blake Azzopardi, LG; Kai Cavallaro, H’cote; Laine Fitzgerald, Colbo; Matt Gray, NB; Cody Riddick, NB; Rhys Woodland, LBU.
6 Adam Baird, MP; Ben Fulford, LBU.
5 James Brain, Colbo; Sebastian De Napoli, Elm.; Orion Downing, Huntly; Connor Hamilton, H’cote; Jackson Jones, H’cote; Braden Padmore, H’cote.
4 Liam Birch, H’cote; Jed Brain, Colbo; Jack Brooks, H’cote; Todd Clarke, Colbo; Jesse Collins, LBU; Dylan Friedberger, Elm.; Shane Harris, NB; Nicholas Palmer, Elm.; Clint Shields, Colbo.
In round three, Leitchville Gunbower tackles Lockington Bamawm United at Gunbower.
Heathcote faces Mount Pleasant at Barrack Reserve.
White Hills and North Bendigo clash at Scott Street.
Elmore hosts Colbinabbin.
Huntly has the bye
Written by Nathan Dole.