Big matches at Lockington, Mount Pleasant
RESULTS in this Saturday’s round 17 matches at Lockington and Mount Pleasant will have a huge bearing on the top four in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s senior ladder.
It’s first against second as Lockington Bamawm United takes on Colbinabbin at Lockington.
Another big game will be at Toolleen where Mount Pleasant and North Bendigo meet in the battle of third and fourth.
A win for Lockington Bamawm United would put it six points clear of the second-placed Colbinabbin at one round to play in the home and away series.
Should Colbinabbin beat LBU and then Mount Pleasant the Hoppers would be top after 18 rounds.
Mount Pleasant and North Bendigo are separated by two points.
A victory for Mounts would seal the double chance, while the Bulldogs must beat the Blues and rely on Colbinabbin beating Mount Pleasant a week later because North Bendigo has the bye in the 18th round.
There is so much at stake in both contests.
Lockington Bamawm United’s long-running winning streak was ended in round eight at Colbinabbin’s M.J. Morgan Reserve when then Grasshoppers dominated in an 81-34 result.
The LBU Cats go into this match after a 38-point victory on North Bendigo’s ground at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street.
Anthony McMahon kicked five goals in the Cats win as Jesse Collins and Thomas Leech booted three each.
An LBU attack that includes Rhys Woodland and Marcus Angove will test the Grasshoppers all match.
Cheatley medallist Tyler Phillips is in outstanding form in the ruck for the Brodie Collins-coached LBU.
Other players to watch for the Cats include Lachlan Atherton, Riley McIvor, and the Bacon trio of Jarod, Nathan and Trent.
The Julian Bull-coached Colbinabbin will be determined to start this match strongly.
The Grasshoppers were down 19-46 at half-time of last Saturday’s clash with Huntly but fought back to win 75-60.
Jed Brain and Matt Riordan kicked three goals apiece for the green and gold.
James Brain kicked five goals against LBU last time and will again be a major danger.
Centre ball-ups will be crucial.
Colbinabbin has Hadleigh Sirett in the ruck and Ben Southam, Laine Fitzgerald and Jimmy McMurtrie at ground level.
In-form players for Colbo include Ben Barton and Tom Hill in defence, Todd Clarke and Logan Fitzgerald in midfield, , and Stephen Tuohey at centre half-forward.
A point separated Mount Pleasant and North Bendigo in round eight.
On that occasion Ben Weightman kicked six goals for the Blues and Dylan Klemm kicked four majors for the Bulldogs.
Both will be major targets again.
The Darren Walsh and Adam Baird-coached Mount Pleasant had the bye last round after a 23-point loss at Lockington the previous week.
A highlight of this match will be the ruck contests where the Blues have Chris Down to take on the in-form Jeremy Lambden.
Mounts’ run from half-back and through midfield will test the Rob Bennett-coached Bulldogs all match.
Key links in the Blues’ chain include Adam Baird, Billy Mahony, Zebb Murrell, Jesse Tuohey and Luke Marchesi.
Weightman leads the league goalkicking race on 59, but Mounts also have Dean Tydell, Zac Featherby and Riley McNamara capable of kicking multiple goals.
The Blues have Bryce Hinneberg, William Wallace, Sam Greene and Bailey White able to spoil or win marking contests, and also rebound well from the defensive 50m arc.
At North Bendigo, Matt Gray returns to the attack in place of the injured Tim Deveraux, hamstring.
Sean Moyle is also back in the centre.
Lucas Keating will play his first senior game as Riley Paetow and Cody Riddick go out.
A key to North Bendigo’s play will be the centre breaks where Moyle, Nathan Newlan and Manny Thalasinos will strive to get first hands on the footy, but also force haphazard passes by the Blues.
A talented attack includes the marking power of Jordan Ford, Gray and Klemm, and Storm Giri at ground level.
It will be a massive test for a North defence led by Shane Harris, Sam Demeo and Ryan Alford.
Huntly and Elmore clash at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
The Bloods beat the Hawks by 19 points in round eight, but Huntly will be confident of victory at home.
The Stacy Fiske-coached Huntly put in a great effort to finish within 15 points of Colbinabbin last round.
Abe Sladden kicked two goals in his first senior game as Mitch Christensen, Steve Kairn and Jayden Cordy were best.
The Hawks will look to Tyler Miles, Jay McDonald and Connor Aldous to win plenty of the footy, and for Flynn Campbell, Luke Gray and Jaydon Cowling to capitalise on scoring chances.
A big threat to the Hawks is Darcy Laffy who kicked four goals against them last time and kicked three goals in the Bloods’ win against Leitchville-Gunbower last round.
Players to watch for the Dylan Friedberger and Dylan Gordon-coached Elmore include captain Nic Kellow, centreman Kyle Armstrong, Zac Laffy, ruck-rover Tyler Amor Beale, Mitch Carson on a wing, and Hayden Trewick.
After a hard-fought win against Heathcote bolstered chances of a top five finish, White Hills has to keep winning.
The Jack Fallon-coached Demons make the trek to Gunbower this Saturday to play Leitchville-Gunbower.
The round eight clash ended in a 75-point win for White Hills as Liam Bartels kicked eight goals in a best afield performance.
Best for White Hills in a crucial win against Heathcote were Mitch Dole, James Davies, Ryan Walker and Bayden Fallon.
Other key players for the Demons include captain Rhys Irwin, Ben Bacon, Cohen Kekich, David Wright, Nathan Moffat and Gavin Bowles.
It’s been a tough season for the Tim Bannan-coached Leitchville-Gunbower, but the play of Nathan and Matt McLellan, Tom Brereton, Billy Hawken have been highlights.
Heathcote has the bye.
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Lockington Bamawm United 204 per cent, 52 points; Colbinabbin 173, 50; Mount Pleasant 175, 44; North Bendigo 142, 42; Heathcote 85, 24; White Hills 79, 24; Elmore 65, 12; Huntly 58, 4; Leitchville-Gunbower 43, 4.
59 Ben Weightman, MP.
49 Dylan Klemm, NB.
42 Darcy Laffy, Elm.
40 James Brain, Colbo.
35 Liam Bartels, WH; Jed Brain, Colbo.; Braden Padmore, H’cote.
34 Anthony McMahon, LBU.
31 Thomas Leech, LBU.
28 Matt Gray, NB.
24 Jarod Bacon, LBU; Kai Cavallaro, H’cote; Ben Fulford, LBU.
23 Jordan Ford, NB.
22 Mitchell Bennett, MP; Jack Brooks, H’cote; Billy Hawken, LG; Hakeem Johnson, NB.
21 Laine Fitzgerald, Colbo.; Rhys Woodland, LBU.
19 Stephen Tuohey, Colbo.
18 Tyler Phillips, LBU; Dean Tydell, MP.
17 Blake Azzopardi, LG.
Written by Nathan Dole.