Grasshoppers raise pressure against Cats
INTENSE pressure will be a key to Colbinabbin’s play against Lockington Bamawm United in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s senior footy preliminary final on Saturday.
A place in the grand final is at stake as the Grasshoppers take on the Cats at the Scott Street ground in White Hills.
Both were unbeaten when they met at Colbinabbin’s M.J. Morgan Reserve in round eight.
The Julian Bull-coached Grasshoppers scored 7.4 to 1.2 in the second term to lead 46-12 at half-time.
Colbo won the second half, 35-22, and the match 81-34 as it held the slick Cats’ attack to just four goals.
The Hoppers’ attack was led by James Brain, five; Jed Brain and Stephen Tuohey, two, as Matt Riordan, Ben Southam, Ben Barton and James Brain were best.
LBU’s best were Tyler Phillips, Riley McIvor, Joss Howlett and Coby Cox.
In round 17, Colbo led 33-28 at half-time of the clash at Lockington.
The Cats scored 6.4 to 2.0 in the third and won the last, 33-15, for a 91-47 victory.
Jarod and Nathan Bacon, Lachlan Collins and Anthony McMahon all kicked two goals apiece.
The only multiple goalkicker for Colbinabbin was Sam Ryan on two.
Best for the Cats were Fraser Monahan, Charlie Hinks, Harley Cobb and Nathan Bacon.
Colbinabbin’s best were Hadleigh Sirett, Todd Clarke, Laine Fitzgerald and captain David Price.
After a rest in the first week of the finals, LBU was beaten 86-55 by Mount Pleasant in the second semi-final at Gunbower.
Jarod Bacon led the Cats’ attack on four goals as Lachlan Atherton, Jarod Bacon, Marcus Angove and Harley Cobb were best.
The Grasshoppers struck back from a 26-point loss to Mount Pleasant in the qualifying final to mark a 111-76 victory against White Hills in the first semi-final.
Colbinabbin led 59-40 at half-time and then scored 5.1 to 1.4 in the third term.
Ben Southam led the attack on four goals to be best afield as James Brain and Matt Riordan added three, and Jed Brain, Luke Moore and Sam Ryan chipped in with two each.
Logan and Laine Fitzgerald, and Ben Barton starred for the green and gold.
A highlight of the preliminary final will be the ruck contest between LBU star Tyler Phillips, a dual winner of the Sam Cheatley Medal as league fairest and best, and Colbinabbin’s Hadleigh Sirett.
It was in the centre breaks and stoppages where Mounts held the edge against LBU last Saturday.
The Brodie Collins-coached Cats will look to Jesse Collins, Harley Cobb and Bart Phillips to have greater control in that area this time.
A strong attack for LBU includes Ben Fulford, Thomas Leech, Anthony McMahon and Rhys Woodland.
The Cats will also look to Stan Brentnall, Joss Howlett and Riley McIvor to lead the way to a grand final showdown with the Blues.
Key players in Colbinabbin’s run to the preliminary final include Tom Hill, Logan Fitzgerald, Will Lowe, and Jimmy and Hugh McMurtrie.
Through to its first seniors grand final in 16 years, Mount Pleasant will take on the Cats or Grasshoppers in the September 3 decider at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
In the reserves preliminary final, Mount Pleasant takes on Heathcote.
The Blues have won hit-outs with the Saints by margins of 39 points in round three, and 63 in the 12th round.
Mount Pleasant is on the rebound from a 64-54 loss to White Hills in the second semi-final.
The Saints stayed in the premiership race as they fought for an 82-69 victory against Lockington Bamawm United in the first semi-final.
White Hills awaits the winner in the grand final.
Preliminary final day kicks off with the under-18s match between White Hills and Leitchville-Gunbower.
In round eight it was the Demons who dominated on home turf at White Hills to score a 104-43 victory against the Bombers.
The return match at Gunbower in the 17th round ended in a 38-27 win to Leitchville-Gunbower and pushed the Demons from the top rung on the ladder.
After a 25-19 win against Lockington Bamawm United in the qualifying final, White Hills was beaten 67-39 by North Bendigo in the second semi-final.
Players to watch for the Demons include Sam Lowes, Seth Boyd, Dylan Arnold, Mitchell Griffin, Zavia Roberts and Alex Wallace.
It’s been must-win for Leitchville Gunbower in every week of the finals campaign.
The Bombers have won two thrilling showdowns so far.
The elimination final ended in a 56-50 win for LG against Colbinabbin, and the Bombers fought on for a 43-41 victory against LBU in the first semi.
Ruckman Oskar Smartt is in outstanding form for Leitchville Gunbower as Darby Jones, Beau Trahar and James Barrat were best against the Cats last Saturday.
Others to watch in the LG line-up are Bohdi Chique, Noah Hore, Silas Kingma and James Prout.
The Demons or Bombers will take on North Bendigo in the grand final.
Schedule for Saturday’s preliminary finals at White Hills Recreation Reserve in Scott Street:
Under-18s at 9.45am: White Hills v Leitchville Gunbower.
Reserves at 11.50am: Mount Pleasant v Heathcote.
Seniors at 2.15pm: Lockington Bamawm United v Colbinabbin.
Written by Nathan Dole.