Lockington Bamawm reigns supreme once again
LOCKINGTON Bamawm United capped a brilliant finish to beat Mount Pleasant for the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s senior footy premiership on Saturday.
The Cats and Blues fought out a great match before thousands of fans at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
Stung by a 38-point loss to Mount Pleasant in the second semi-final, LBU turned up the heat from the first contest of the clash to decide the season’s champions.
The Brodie Collins-coached Cats raced to a 31-1 lead as their workrate and pressure, especially at centre clearances and stoppages was at a much higher level than the Blues.
The LBU attack led by Jarod Bacon and Anthony McMahon capitalised on the early dominance.
A run of five unanswered goals by the Cats included Jarod Bacon winning the ball in the pocket and then sprinting clear to kick truly.
Mount Pleasant hit back late in term with goals by Ben Weightman and Dean Tydell to be within 17 points at the first break.
Defences were on top for most of the second quarter.
Both teams added two goals apiece as LBU led 47-27 by half-time.
A highlight of the third term was the effort by Cats’ gun forward Anthony McMahon who fell to his knees in a contest but was able to soccer the ball past the defence for a 25-point lead.
The Blues struck back as wingman Zebb Murrell roved a marking contest and kicked his teams sixth goal of the match.
A strong tackle by co-coach and captain Adam Baird was rewarded with a free and then brilliant set-shot from near the boundary line near the cricket nets to cut the Cats’ lead to 15 points near three quarter-time.
It was the Blues who turned up the heat in the last quarter.
Ruck-rover Billy Mahony was on the end of a pass from Dean Tydell and slotted a great goal from near the 50m arc.
A long pass from Adam Baird was marked by his brother, Travis to kick another goal and put the Blues within four points in the 15th minute.
The Cats replied before a Travis Baird mark and goal meant LBU’s lead was just three points in the 21st minute.
In both of their showdowns in the home-and-away series it was the Cats who lifted when under pressure to claim the premiership points.
LBU’s ability to win the crucial centre breaks and then goal was outstanding as it scored the last three goals of the match to complete an 89-69 victory.
A five-goal haul by Jarod Bacon, a co-captain of LBU along with Nathan Bacon and Rhys Woodland, earned the VCFL Medal for best afield.
Other multiple goalkickers for LBU were Ben Fulford and Anthony McMahon with three each.
Best for the Cats included on-baller Marcus Angove, Nathan Angove, Trent Bacon, Lachlan Atherton, and ruckman and dual Cheatley medallist Tyler Phillips.
Mount Pleasant’s best were defenders William Wallace and Bryce Hinneberg, Travis Baird in attack, Jesse Tuohey, Billy Mahony and Michael Whiting.
Premiership-winning coach Brodie Collins praised the club for its work through the Covid-ravaged 2020 and ’21 seasons to again rise to be number one in the league.
“The whole district will be abuzz,” Collins said.
“It’s been an incredible run,” Collins said after the 89-69 result.
“There were many things going through my mind late in the game.
“The main thing was to show we were up for the fight, and we did.”
Collins said LBU had learnt a lot after being outplayed by Mount Pleasant for most of the second semi-final at Gunbower.
“We knew our workrate at the contest had to lift.
“It was not easy, but we watched the footage from the second semi and saw areas we had to be better at to beat Mounts in the grand final.”
There were many outstanding contributors in the grand final victory, but Collins praised the play of on-baller Marcus Angove, aka Rowdy, for his play in all four finals matches.
“His skills and two-way run are outstanding.”
Mateship has played a big part in LBU’s success in recent years.
More than two-thirds of the 22 who took to the field in the grand final had played for the Cats as juniors.
Collins praised the entire club for its support across the past three years.
“There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes.
“It’s been incredibly tough through Covid, but a day like today makes it all worthwhile.”
Mount Pleasant co-coach Darren Walsh said the team gave its all to win its first senior premiership in 16 years.
“We were given a harsh lesson in how to play a grand final in the end.
“LBU is such a strong physical side. We will work on being stronger, better and go even harder next year.”
As the Cats celebrate another premiership victory, all Heathcote DFNL rivals will be planning on how to stop LBU’s run next year.
Written by Nathan Dole.