THE Huntly Hawks defence faces a huge challenge against Mount Pleasant in Saturday’s fifth round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s senior footy season.
It’s Love The Game, Not The Odds round across leagues in AFL Central Victoria’s region.
How to stop Mounts’ star Ben Weightman dominating the contest will have taken up plenty of time for Huntly’s coaching team led by Stacy Fiske.
The Hawks’ defence is well led by Jay McDonald and Steve Kairn, but they will need a lot of pressure from up the ground to limit the chances for a Blues’ attack that includes Weightman, Jesse Tuohey and Riley McNamara.
Huntly has named Jayden Cowling at full-forward, while Orion Downing did kick four goals in the clash with Leitchville Gunbower.
Key players for the Hawks include ruck-rover Tyler Miles, Tori Ferguson in the centre, Mitch Christensen in the ruck, and Luke Gray in the forward line.
The Darren Walsh and Adam Baird-coached Blues are in great form.
Mounts won its latest hit-out against Leitchville Gunbower by 125 points as Weightman, Billy Mahony and Jesse Tuohey led the way.
Ruckman Chris Down is likely to direct plenty of hit-outs to the likes Zane Keighran, Billy Mahony and Zac Featherby.
Other players to watch for the Blues include Pat O’Brien on a wing, Bailey and Fletcher White, and Bryce Hinneberg in defence.
Leitchville Gunbower tackles North Bendigo at Leitchville.
The Bombers have home-ground advantage against a team which had time to stew over a two-goal loss at White Hills in round three.
The Tim Bannan-coached Leitchville Gunbower will work hard to limit the Bulldogs’ run from stoppages and half-back.
Best for the Bombers in their clash at Toolleen were ruckman Jobee Warde, Mitch Candy, Nathan McLellan and Leyton Shenfield.
North Bendigo is strengthened by the inclusion of the Tardrew brothers, Lachlan and Callum.
A gun midfielder or on-baller, Lachlan plays VFL with Collingwood, previously played for Sandhurst, and was a Neville Strauch Memorial club champion at Bendigo Pioneers.
Lachy will play his first match for the Bulldogs.
Callum is a premiership-winning player with North Bendigo and is back from injury after being among the best in the season-opening win against Heathcote.
The marking power of North Bendigo forwards Dylan Klemm, Matt Gray and Shane Harris will test the Bombers.
The Bulldogs also have coach Robert Bennett back after being a late out for the match at White Hills because of Covid protocols.
White Hills and Elmore clash in the Demons’ den at Scott Street.
The Demons are on the rebound from a 65-point defeat at Colbinabbin,
White Hills played brilliant football at home to beat North Bendigo two weeks ago.
Key players for the Demons include coach Jack Fallon, Mitch Dole, Bayden Fallon, Jake Dickens, Rhys Irwin and David Wright.
It’s a crucial match for the sixth-placed White Hills
Elmore welcomes back co-coach and key forward/ruckman Dylan Gordon to the field.
The Bloods also have co-coach Dylan Friedberger in action and will look to Tannar Cerrone, Che Taranto, Darcy and Zac Laffy, Zack Holmberg to win plenty of contests.
Heathcote takes on Colbinabbin on the Saints’ turf at Barrack Reserve.
The Saints had a rest last Saturday and now take on the third-placed Grasshoppers.
The attack for the Andrew Saladino-coached Heathcote is led by Jack Brooks, Jordan and Kai Cavallaro, while the run of Codie Price, Braden Padmore, Liam Birch and Brent Jane is a key to the Saints’ play.
Players to watch for the Julian Bull-coached Colbinabbin include James and Jed Brain, Laine Fitzgerald, Will Lowe, Todd Clarke, Hadleigh Sirett and Matt Riordan.
Lockington Bamawm United has the bye.
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Lockington Bamawm United 269 per cent, 16 points; Mount Pleasant 232, 16; Colbinabbin 204, 16; North Bendigo 106, 8; Heathcote 72, 4; White Hills 58, 4; Leitchville Gunbower 37, 4; Huntly 71, 0; Elmore 55, 0.
22 Ben Weightman, MP.
13 Ben Fulford, LBU.
12 Laine Fitzgerald, Colbo.;
11 James Brain, Colbo.; Matt Gray, NB; Dylan Klemm, NB.
9 Anthony McMahon, LBU; Dean Tydell, MP.
8 Blake Azzopardi, LG; Kai Cavallaro, H’cote.
7 Jed Brain, Colbo.; Jordan Ford, NB; Connor Hamilton, H’cote; Cody Riddick, NB; Rhys Woodland, LBU.
6 Adam Baird, MP; Jack Brooks, H’cote; Mitch Dole, WH; Bayden Fallon, WH; Jackson Jones, H’cote; Cohen Kekich, WH; Braden Padmore, H’cote; Tyler Phillips, LBU; Caelan Smith, MP.
5 Liam Birch, H’cote; Sebastian De Napoli, Elm.; Patrick Eefting, WH; Jack Fallon, WH; Billy Hawken, LG; Luke Moore, Colbo.; Orion Downing, Huntly; Luke Gray, Huntly; Shane Harris, NB.
Written by Nathan Dole.