THIRD and first on the senior footy ladder, Colbinabbin and White Hills clash in Saturday’s fifth round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League season.
Although Colbinabbin has home-ground advantage at M.J. Morgan Reserve, White Hills will start favourite to mark a fifth consecutive victory.
Just how the Grasshoppers can stop a powerful White Hills midfield and attack will have taken up plenty of time for coach Julian Bull and the players.
Colbo will need big games from the likes of James Lawless, Matt Riordan and Nick Knight in defence, and Lochlan Sirett, Todd Clarke, Tom Hill and Sam Vale to win their share of centre ball-up duels and stoppages.
A powerful White Hills attack is led by Jed Lamb who leads the league goalkicking on 24 after 13 majors in last week’s win against Leitchville Gunbower.
Add the marking strength and experience of Matt Sawyer, classy captain Mitch Dole, coach Sam Kerridge and elusive Marc Millard and the Demons have plenty of scoring might.
White Hills also welcomes back Zeke Lamb and David Wright.
Colbo has Jed Brain and Stephen Tuohey, nine goals apiece, and Ryan Hon as key targets in attack.
Elmore faces Huntly at Elmore Recreation Reserve.
The Bloods are on the rebound from a big loss to the powerful Lockington Bamawm United.
Huntly is fifth and confidence is high after a home win against Mount Pleasant last round.
Key players for the Dylan Friedberger-coached Elmore include James Harney, nine goals; Ben Makepeace, Matt Gilmour, Mitchell Cricelli, Zack Holmberg and Joe Harney.
The Bloods’ inclusions include Bailey Boyack, Jack Trewick and Callan Wilson, but Friedberger, Tom Hughes, Dylan Oaff and Matt Thompson are out.
The Hawks regain coach Stacy Fiske and Jack Daley, but will be without Jacob Greenwood and Jake Maher.
Jaydon Cowling kicked three goals for the Hawks against Mounts as Luke and Ryan Semmel, Luke Jones, Josh Harris, Brandon Dimech and Jay McDonald starred for the brown and gold.
Heathcote tackles North Bendigo at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.
The Saints played extremely well to be within a goal at half-time of the clash with White Hills.
In the final hour it was the Demons who dominated.
Kai Cavallaro, Jackson Jones and Mitch McLean lead the Heathcote goalkicking list.
The Saints face a huge challenge against a North Bendigo line-up refreshed by the bye after a loss on home turf to White Hills.
Dillon Hardy, Jackson Jones and Codie Price are in for Heathcote, but Bourke, Klemke and Josh Shaw are out.
North Bendigo has regained Sam Demeo and Jeremy Lambden, but will be without star on-baller Harry O’Meara.
Key players for the Wayne Primmer-coached Heathcote include Codie and Billy Price, Jake Condon, Tom Pain and Louis Piccolo.
North Bendigo’s attack is led by Shane Harris, seven goals; and Storm Giri, five.
Bulldogs’ coach Matt Dillon will look for big games from the likes of Dylan Klemm, Daniel Reid, Aarryn Craig, Tom Metherell, Jordan Ford and Koe Ngawati.
Mount Pleasant clashes with Leitchville Gunbower at Toolleen.
The Blues were outplayed by the Huntly Hawks last round.
A huge inclusion for Mounts is 2019 Michelsen medallist Adam Baird, a multiple premiership-winning player for Golden Square and gun onballer.
The Baird brothers, Adam and Travis join forces once again.
Ben Weightman’s season tally is 11 after four goals for Mounts at Huntly.
Jointly-coached by Darren Walsh and Adam Baird, Mount Pleasant is sixth on one win.
The play of Liam Collins, Fraser Cole, Billy Mahony, Zebb Murrell and Dale Young will again be crucial for the Blues.
A tough run for the young Leitchville Gunbower team rolls on.
The Bombers scored just two goals against Colbinabbin at Leitchville last Saturday.
Positives for the Bombers have been the play of Tom and Will Brereton, Nathan McLellan, James Barratt, Billy Hawken and Ayden Walton.
Brett Johnson and Cameron Van Florestein are in for Leitchville Gunbower.
The Bombers will look for Hoby Bussey, Lee Pollock and Rhys Bradley to lead the way.
Heathcote DFNL senior ladder:
White Hills 317 per cent, 16 points; Lockington Bamawm United 282, 16; Colbinabbin 177, 12; North Bendigo 100, 8; Huntly 85.2, 8; Mount Pleasant 85.5, 4; Heathcote 80, 4; Elmore 36, 0; Leitchville Gunbower 30, 0.
Written by Nathan Dole