HDFNL Football Prelim Review | Mount Pleasant works way into grand final


MOUNT Pleasant has qualified for another senior footy grand final in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League.

The Mountain Men won Saturday’s preliminary final showdown with White Hills by four points.

It was a terrific contest at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve as the Blues and Demons fought to gain a crack at Heathcote for the premiership cup.

Mount Pleasant led 22-11 at quarter-time, but it was the Demons who dominated most of the second term.

Just as it was a week earlier, White Hills would rue inaccuracy in attack.

The Demons scored 3.7 to 1.1 in the second term to lead 36-29 at the long break.

A closely-fought third term went Mount Pleasant’s way, 20-15.

With Mitch Bennett as key target in attack in the absence of leading goalkicker Ben Weightman, back injury, Mount Pleasant was able to capitalise on the work of its midfield and on-ballers.

The Blues scored 3.2 to 2.2 in the last.

At the final siren Mount Pleasant’s players and fans celebrated a 10.9 (69) to 8.17 (65) victory.

Mitch Bennett finished with a team-high four goals as Riley McNamara chipped in with two.

Other goalkickers for the Blues were Zach Charles, Nick Edwards, Mitch Rovers and Fletcher White.

The Demons’ attack was led by Kaiden Antonowicz with four as Mitch Dole kicked two.

Liam Bartels and Cohen Kekich were also on target.

A multiple premiership winner and Michelsen medallist in his time at Golden Square, Adam Baird was best afield in Mount Pleasant’s third consecutive win in the finals series.

Other stars for the Blues were captain and ruckman Chris Down, Mitch Bennett, Bryce Hinneberg, Fletcher White and Sam Greene.

Talented midfielder Eli Pearce was best for White Hills along with Patrick Eefting, Ryan Walker, Nicholas Warnock, Jack Fallon and Jake Pallpratt.

Jointly coached by Adam Baird and Ben Weightman, Mount Pleasant has fought from an elimination final to now challenge for the cup.

The Blues beat Leitchville Gunbower in the elimination final, North Bendigo in the first semi, and then White Hills in the preliminary final.

Mounts will carry underdog status into the grand final as Heathcote beat the Blues in both matches in the home-and-away series.

Margins were nine points in the sixth round on Mounts’ ground at Toolleen, and by four in the 15th round at Heathcote’s Pigeon Park in Barrack Reserve.

The Jack Fallon and Jake Pallpratt-coached White Hills finished the home-and-away series and stunned North Bendigo with a 40-point victory in the qualifying final.

The past two Saturdays the Demons could not stop the run of Heathcote or Mount Pleasant who now meet on league’s biggest day in September.

North Bendigo will tackle White Hills in the reserves grand final next Saturday.

The Damien Webb-coached Bulldogs made a flying start to the preliminary final as they scored 3.1 to just four behinds in the opening quarter.

Accuracy at goal was another key factor as North Bendigo scored 2.2 and the Blues added three behinds in the second term.

Mount Pleasant fought back strongly in the third term.

The Blues lifted their workrate at stoppages and their run.

A tally of 3.4 to 0.2 put the Blues within a goal going into the final quarter.

Led by the play of ruckman Denzel Cooper, Sam Demeo and Adam Wild it was North Bendigo which responded.

The Bulldogs scored three goals and held the Blues to a major in the last.

At the final siren North Bendigo led 8.5 (53) to 4.11 (35).

Pat Bogers led the Bulldogs’ attack on three goals and Michael Thompson booted two.

Other goalkickers for the red, white and blue were Sam Demeo, Zaiyden Richards and Jonas Somerville.

Mount Pleasant’s attack was led by Zac Featherby on two as Jaxson Nihill and Jack Teasdale added one.

The Bulldogs’ best included Zaiyden Richards, Harlan Draper and Lucas Keating.

Matt Fitzgerald, Ryan Pontell, Oliver Bish, Jack Teasdale, Alan Hand and Jeremy Brewer were best for the Blues.

In this finals campaign North Bendigo was beaten, 59-53 in the qualifying final clash with White Hills.

The Bulldogs have struck back to win their past two matches – 70-42 against Huntly in the first semi, and 53-35 against Mount Pleasant.

After finishing the home and away series on top of the ladder the Tyler McNamara-coached Mount Pleasant was beaten in a second semi showdown with White Hills by two points.

The Blues could not stop the Bulldogs’ run to have a chance at getting their hands on the premiership cup.

The Harlowe Huntly Hawks have made their way from an elimination final to an under-18s grand final clash with North Bendigo.

The Hawks outplayed White Hills in the preliminary final on Huntly’s turf at Strauch Reserve.

At quarter-time Huntly led 8-2 and then scored 3.2 to 2.1 in the second term to hold a 13-point lead at the long break.

Defences were on top for most of the third quarter.

The brown and gold scored 1.3 as White Hills added 1.2.

Although it had been on the end of 78 and 22-point defeats to White Hills in the home-and-away series, Huntly could not be stopped in Saturday’s match.

As confidence soared, so did Huntly’s tally as it added 3.1 to 2.2 in the last to complete a 56-37 victory.

Archer Billings and Jett Rowell led the Hawks’ attack on two goals apiece.

Huntly also had Judd Gilchrist, Ben Miller, Jack Morrow and Josh Trotter on target.

Goalkickers for White Hills were captain Macauley Johnson with three and Harry Sheilds on two.

Best for Huntly were Archer Billings, Deacon Wheelhouse, Kade Kalms, Hunter Connors, Judd Gilchrist and Ben Miller.

Isaac Meersbergen, Samuel Cock, Tom Ward, Jack Monaghan, Jett Patullo and Tamba Basha were the Demons’ best.

Jointly-coached by Aaron Wheelhouse and Mitch Billings, Huntly’s run in the finals began with a 66-29 win against Lockington Bamawm United in the elimination final.

The Hawks marked a 15-point win against Heathcote in the first semi.

White Hills kicked off its finals campaign by scoring a 28-point win against Heathcote in the qualifying final at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.

The Rob Lowes and Doolan Nihill-coached Demons went down 43-61 in the second semi-final clash with North Bendigo at Colbinabbin’s M.J. Morgan Oval.

Schedule for Saturday’s footy grand finals at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve:

Under-18s at 9.30am: North Bendigo v Huntly.

Reserves at 11.20am: White Hills v North Bendigo.

Seniors at 2.20pm: Heathcote v Mount Pleasant.