FAVOURITES to meet in the senior football grand final, White Hills and Lockington Bamawm United meet in this Saturday’s eighth round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League season.
The Demons and Cats will be fired up for this contest at Tint A Car Oval in Scott Street, White Hills.
Travel restrictions imposed on Melbourne-based players to regional venues for this weekend will affect most clubs.
White Hills will be without coach and gun onballer Sam Kerridge and leading goalkicker Jed Lamb.
Coaching reins have been handed to key defender Jack Fallon for this match.
A talented Demons’ line-up includes Patrick Eefting in the centre, Mitch Dole, Lachlan Collihole and Matt Sawyer in attack, ruckman Lachlan Sidebottom, and Kaiden Skelton, Rhys Irwin and Jake Dickens in defence.
Lockington Bamawm United’s midfield and onball strength will test the Demons.
Ben McPhee, Jarod and Nathan Bacon and Stan Brentnall are capable of setting up plenty of attacks.
Leading goalkickers for the Cats are James McPhee, 18; Jarod Bacon, 16; Thomas Leech, 15; and Lachlan Collins, 13.
Other players to watch for LBU include ruckman Rhys Woodland, Liam Main, Patrick Gardiner and Lachlan Atherton.
North Bendigo meets Elmore at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street.
The Matt Dillon-coached Bulldogs will be keen to bounce back after a 29-point loss to Mount Pleasant at Toolleen in the previous round.
Not only did North Bendigo claim the vital premiership points, the Blues also took the Russell Roulston Cup.
Ins for the Bulldogs are experienced defender Tom Metherell, the versatile B Oates, ruckman/forward J Lambden and onballer Manny Thalasinos.
North Bendigo will be without Sam Demeo, Koe Ngawati, Harry O’Meara and T Tavaga.
Key players for the Bulldogs include Dylan Klemm, Shane Harris and Clay Davies in attack, Aarryn Craig and Ryan Alford in midfield, and a defence led by Jordan Ford and Daniel Reid.
Elmore played well to finish within 51 points at White Hills in round seven.
Dylan Oaff and Farran Priest led the attack on three goals each.
In-form players for the Dylan Friedberger-coached Bloods include Mitch Cricelli at centre half-forward, James and Joe Harney, and Nic Kellow in defence.
The play of Callan Wilson in the ruck, Zack Holmberg, Ben Makepeace and Matt Gilmour will be vital to the Bloods chances of an upset victory.
Heathcote and Mount Pleasant clash on the Saints’ turf at Pigeon Park in Barrack Reserve.
It’s another big task for the Wayne Primmer-coached Saints against a team that struck form last round.
Tom Pain, Mitch McLean, Dillon Hardy, Matt Mikic, Nathan Bake and Louis Piccolo were best for the Saints in their clash at Colbinabbin.
Changes to a winning team at Mounts were P O’Brien and B White in for key forwards Rhys Deacon and Ben Weightman.
It’s a blow for the Blues as Deacon kicked six goals to be among the best against North Bendigo and Weightman leads Mounts’ attack on 23 goals.
A Michlesen medallist and multiple premiership-winning player at Golden Square, Adam Baird starred in his first match for the Blues.
Co-coach of Mounts with Darren Walsh, Baird was named at full-forward.
A talented Blues’ line-up includes Liam Collins in the centre, Riley McNamara on a wing, Brayden Dorrington, Travis Baird and Jack Hetherington in defence, Daniel Davie as ruckman and Billy Mahony as ruck-rover.
Leitchville Gunbower tackles Huntly at Degroot Roof Painting Recreation Reserve in Gunbower.
The winless Bombers will be confident of a much stronger showing against a team that can play really well or not so well.
Best for the Bombers in their hit-out at Lockington were Ayden Walton, Bailey Taylor, Tom Brereton, Josh Hawken, Lee Pollock and Austin Windridge.
The Stacy Fiske-coached Huntly scored a stunning 35-point win against Mount Pleasant in round four, but a week later was beaten by a point on Elmore’s turf.
Key players for the Hawks include ruck-rover Tyler Miles, Steve Kairn and Jay McDonald across half-back, rover Jaydon Cowling, Jack Daley, Jake Maher and Connor Aldous.
Colbinabbin has the bye.
Standings in the Heathcote DFNL’s senior footy competition:
White Hills 260 per cent, 28 points; Lockington Bamawm United 282, 24; Colbinabbin 149, 16; North Bendigo 97, 16; Mount Pleasant 86, 12; Huntly 85, 8; Elmore 55, 8; Heathcote 73, 4; Leitchville Gunbower 34, 0.
Written by Nathan Dole.