Grasshoppers fight to gain edge against Blues
COLBINABBIN and Mount Pleasant will fight to gain a mental edge on the other when they meet in Saturday’s 18th round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s senior footy action.
It’s also Bendigo Bank Round for footy/netball leagues run under the AFL Central Victoria umbrella.
Whether they finish second or third, the Grasshoppers and Blues will meet in the August 13 qualifying final.
Colbinabbin has home-ground advantage at M.J. Morgan Reserve for the last round in the home and away series.
When these clubs met in round nine it was Mounts who fought from 18 points down at three quarter-time to score 4.4 to 1.2 in the last to claim an 84-82 win at Toolleen.
Ben Weightman kicked four goals and Mitch Bennett added three as Bailey and Fletcher White, and ruckman Chris Down were best.
The Colbo attack was led by James and Jed Brain on five and three goals.
Best for the Grasshoppers were Jed Brain, Logan Fitzgerald, Lachlan Ezard and Hadleigh Sirett.
The Julian Bull-coached Colbinabbin is on the rebound from a 44-point loss at Lockington.
The Cats worked hard to limit scoring chances for Colbo whose only multiple goalkicker was Sam Ryan on two.
Key players for Colbinabbin include ruck-rover Todd Clarke, Laine Fitzgerald at half-forward, William Lowe on a wing, David Price and ruckman Hadleigh Sirett.
The Grasshoppers will look to Ben Barton, Tom Hill, Matt Riordan, Ben Southam and Stephen Tuohey to win plenty of contests.
A major challenge for the green and gold will be limiting supply to and the impact of Mounts’ gun forward Ben Weightman.
In last Saturday’s play, Weightman kicked a match-high four goals as Luke Marchesi and Dean Tydell added two as Mount Pleasant kicked away in the last to score a 90-62 win against North Bendigo.
Best for the Blues included ruckman Chris Down, Sam Greene, Bryce Hinneberg, Riley McNamara and Daniel Whiting.
Other key players Mounts include onballer/midfielder Adam Baird who is co-coach with Darren Walsh, as well as ruck-rover Billy Mahony, Zebb Murrell on a wing, Pat O’Brien and rover Jesse Tuohey.
Beat Huntly on the Scott Street ground and White Hills will progress to an elimination final showdown with North Bendigo on August 14.
The Demons start this round a win in front of the sixth-placed Heathcote.
It’s a danger game for the Jack Fallon-coached White Hills as Huntly finished within 14 points of Colbinabbin two weeks ago.
In round nine, White Hills won 74-30 on Huntly’s turf at Strauch Reserve as Ben Bacon, captain Rhys Irwin and Bayden Fallon were best.
Liam Bartels kicked five goals for White Hills in last week’s win against Leitchville-Gunbower at Gunbower as James Davies chipped in with four majors.
Players to watch for the Demons include Tom Conlan, Mitch Dole, rover Patrick Eefting, Cohen Kekich at centre half-back, Gavin Bowles and David Wright.
Huntly’s best against the Demons in the ninth round were Jay McDonald, Tyler Miles, Brandon Dimech and Mitch Billings.
The Hawks took charge in the second half of last Saturday’s home game against Elmore to record a 92-62 victory.
Flynn Campbell led the Hawks’ attack on four goals.
The Stacy Fiske-coached Huntly will look to rover Jayden Cordy, Kyle Forster and Luke Gray in attack, Orion Downing and Steve Kairn in defence to put the heat on the Demons.
The brown and gold also has Mitch Christensen, Jake Maher and Jaydon Cowling who have played well in a lot of matches this season.
The season is not over for the Andrew Saladino-coached Heathcote as it takes to its turf at Barrack Reserve to play Leitchville Gunbower.
Beat the Bombers and the Saints are likely to climb fifth place, provided Huntly beats White Hills.
Heathcote will start favourite to defeat Leitchville-Gunbower.
In round nine it was the Saints who won 100-55 as Jackson Jones and Billy Price kicked two goals apiece.
Heathcote’s best in that match were Jackson Jones, Codie Price, Mitchell McLean and Will Long.
The Bombers’ attack was led by Billy Hawken, Liam Hogan and Joel Regan on two each.
Tom Brereton, Jobee Warde, Billy Hawken and Blake Azzopardi were best in that match.
Heathcote had the bye last round as LG was beaten by White Hills.
Key players for the Saints include Kai Cavallaro, Will Direen, Shaun Harrison and Braden Padmore.
Bombers’ coach Tim Bannan will look for big games from the likes of Blake Azzopardi, Sam Lewis, Nathan McLellan, Leyton Shenfield, Bailey Taylor and Austin Windridge.
Elmore is on home turf to take on a Lockington Bamawm United which will finish 18 rounds on top of the ladder and earn a rest in first week of the finals.
Vice-captain Darcy Laffy kicked a match-high six goals for Elmore in last Saturday’s match at Huntly.
A tally of 48 goals has Laffy in third place in the league goalkicking race.
The Dylan Frieberger and Dylan Gordon-coached Elmore will be aiming to end their season with a strong performance against the flag favourites.
Players to watch for the Bloods include Kyle Armstrong at half-forward, Tannar Cerrone in attack, ruck-rover Rhys Holmberg, captain and rover Nic Kellow, Zack Holmberg in the centre, Zac Laffy and Regan Williams in defence.
Lockington Bamawm United charged to a big lead in the third quarter of their clash against Colbinabbin and went on to win 91-47.
A powerful Cats’ attack includes Jarod Bacon, Anthony McMahon, Marcus Angove and Riley McIvor.
In-form players for the Brodie Collins-coached LBU against Colbo were rover Harley Cobb, Charlie Hinks, Joss Howlett and Fraser Monahan.
North Bendigo has the bye.
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Lockington Bamawm United 204 per cent, 56 points; Colbinabbin 160, 50; Mount Pleasant 173, 48; North Bendigo 136, 42; White Hills 84, 28; Heathcote 85, 24; Elmore 65, 12; Huntly 62, 8; Leitchville Gunbower 43, 4.
63 Ben Weightman, MP.
52 Dylan Klemm, NB.
48 Darcy Laffy, Elm.
41 James Brain, Colbo.
40 Liam Bartels, WH.
36 Anthony McMahon, LBU.
35 Jed Brain, Colbo.; Braden Padmore, H’cote.
31 Thomas Leech, LBU.
28 Matt Gray, NB.
26 Jarod Bacon, LBU; Jordan Ford, NB.
24 Kai Cavallaro, H’cote; Ben Fulford, LBU.
23 Billy Hawken, LG.
22 Mitchell Bennett, MP; Jack Brooks, H’cote; Hakeem Johnson, NB; Rhys Woodland, LBU.
21 Laine Fitzgerald, Colbo.
20 Dean Tydell, MP.
Written by Nathan Dole.