Huge challenges for Demons, Saints
AN UPSET victory for White Hills or Heathcote will have a huge bearing on the finals prospects of both in this Saturday’s 13th round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League.
The fifth-placed Heathcote leads White Hills by four points as both aim to bounce back from round 12 defeats.
The Demons and Saints take on teams entrenched in the top five.
White Hills plays the third-placed Colbinabbin at Scott Street in White Hills.
The fourth-round clash on Colbinabbin’s turf at M.J. Morgan Reserve ended in a 65-point win for the Grasshoppers.
The Julian Bull-coached Colbinabbin has not played for a fortnight.
A bye in round 11 for the ‘Hoppers was followed by another rest as Colbo had played Elmore in the season opener on April 2.
It’s a big day for White Hills as the Demons run a Past Players function.
The Demons worked hard in last Saturday’s match on North Bendigo’s ground.
Veteran forward Matt Sawyer showed he can make the most of limited chances by kicking four goals against the Bulldogs.
Key defender Nic Wallace, captain Rhys Irwin, coach Jack Fallon and Patrick Eefting were best for White Hills.
Nicholas Wallace, captain Rhys Irwin, Jack Fallon, Patrick Eefting, Matt Sawyer and Ben Bacon were best for the Demons.
The play of Ben Bacon, Walsh and David Wright in defence, Walker in the centre, Nathan Moffat in the ruck, Liam Bartels and Mitch Dole in attack will be crucial to the Demons’ chances.
A strong Colbinabbin line-up includes James and Jed Brain, Clint Shields and Stephen Tuohey in attack; Ben Southam and Will Lowe in midfield; Hadeligh Sirett in the ruck, Todd Clarke, Ben Barton and Matt Riordan.
Heathcote plays North Bendigo on the Saints’ turf at Barrack Reserve.
It was a high-scoring showdown when these clubs met in the season opener on April 2 at North Bendigo’s Hibo Hotel Oval.
The Bulldogs won 118-108.
Heathcote will be keen to bounce back from a 95-point loss in last Saturday’s clash with Mount Pleasant at Toolleen.
A big challenge for the Saints will be to stop Bulldogs’ in-form forwards Dylan Klemm and Hakeem Johnson who kicked nine and six goals in the win against White Hills.
The Andrew Saladino-coached Saints have plenty of scoring options in Jack Brooks, Kai Cavallaro and Braden Padmore.
Best in the Saints’ latest hit-out were Shaun Harrison, Jackson Jones, Connor Hamilton, Rhys Bolton, Mitchell McLean and Joe Langford.
Bulldogs’ ruckman Jeremy Lambden is in superb form while Jordan Ford, Shane Harris, Nic Waterson, Nathan Newlan and Sean Moyle are among the most consistent players.
The Bulldogs will be coached by Daniel Francis this round.
After a season-breaking win at Leitchville, Huntly had the bye last round.
The Stacy Fiske-coached Hawks are back in action this week to take on Lockington Bamawm United at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
The Hawks and Cats showdown in round four ended in a 45 point win for LBU at Lockington.
Huntly’s defence of Steve Kairn, Jay McDonald, Forster and Orion Downing will be opposed to a Cats attack that includes Anthony McMahon, Jarod Bacon, Joss Howlett and Riley McIvor.
In midfield the Hawks will look to Jaydon Cowling, Bailey Jones and Tyler Miles to set up attacks and also defend well.
Fiske, Luke Gray and Mitch Christensen will be the key targets in Huntly’s attack.
Best in the latest victory for the Brodie Collins-coached LBU included Harley Cobb, Thomas Leech, Nathan Bacon, Tyler Phillips and Cooper Mitchell.
Leitchville-Gunbower meets Mount Pleasant at Gunbower Recreation Reserve.
The Blues won their previous meeting with the Bombers by 75 points.
It’s another huge test for the young LG team coached by Tim Bannan.
Best for the Bombers in their latest clash were Blake Azzopardi, Billy Hawken, Leyton Shenfield, Jobee Warde, Hoby Bussey and Nathan McLellan.
Mount Pleasant’s attack was in top form against Heathcote as Ben Weightman, seven; Mitchell Bennett, Jesse Tuohey and Dean Tydell, three apiece, were to the fore.
A strong squad coached by Darren Walsh and Adam Baird includes ruckman Chris Down, Zac Featherby, Jack Hamilton, Bryce Hinnerberg, ruck-rover Billy Mahony, Jesse Tuohey, Jack Hamilton and Zebb Murrell.
Elmore has the bye
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Lockington Bamawm United 222 per cent, 40 points; Mount Pleasant 174, 36; Colbinabbin 187, 34; North Bendigo 143, 30; Heathcote 81, 20; White Hills 76, 16; Elmore 60, 8; Huntly 63, 4; Leitchville-Gunbower 40, 4.
54 Ben Weightman, MP.
35 James Brain, Colbo.; Dylan Klemm, NB.
27 Darcy Laffy, Elm.
26 Jed Brain, Colbo.; Anthony McMahon, LBU.
24 Ben Fulford, LBU.
23 Matt Gray, NB; Thomas Leech, LBU.
21 Liam Bartels, WH; Mitchell Bennett, MP.
19 Jack Brooks, H’cote; Rhys Woodland, LBU.
18 Jarod Bacon, LBU; Kai Cavallaro, H’cote.
17 Billy Hawken, LG; Braden Padmore, H’cote.
16 Dean Tydell, MP.
15 Jackson Conforti, H’cote; Laine Fitzgerald, Colbo.; Jordan Ford, NB.
Written by Nathan Dole.