HDFNL Round 15 Football Preview | Three big matches to be contested


THREE games could all carry match-of-day status in Saturday’s 15th round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL season.

Games at Heathcote, White Hills and Gunbower could all have a significant bearing on top-five placings and the run to the finals series.

The ladder-leading Heathcote is on home turf at Barrack Reserve to take on Mount Pleasant.

The Andrew Saladino-coached Saints won their latest hit-out at Elmore by eight goals for a 10-2 record.

In round six, Heathcote won on Mount Pleasant’s turf at Toolleen by nine points.

Mounts will be fighting to avoid a hat-trick of defeats after losses to Leitchville-Gunbower and then White Hills.

Despite being without gun forward Corey Grindlay for several weeks, Heathcote has found other scoring options.

Among them have been Braden Padmore, Liam Birch, Victor Butler, Jordan Cavallarro and Jackson Conforti.

Best in Heathcote’s latest win included Callum Birch, ruckman Lachlan Freeman Taber, Jesse Davies and Joseph Beedle.

The Saints’ defence faces another big test against the likes of Ben Weightman, Mitch Bennett and Mitch Rovers.

Crucial to the chances of a Blues’ team jointly coached by Adam Baird and Ben Weightman is the play of ruckman Chris Down, key defender William Wallace, Bryce Hinneberg and Michael Whiting.

It’s third against fifth as White Hills meets Lockington Bamawm United at Winslowe Constructors Oval in Scott Street, White Hills.

The Jack Fallon and Jake Pallpratt-coached Demons finished full of running in a 47-point win against Mounts last round.

White Hills scored 6.3 to a point in the final quarter.

Victory put the Demons to the third rung and holding the double chance at finals time.

Massive test against an LBU line-up on the rebound from defeat to Leitchville Gunbower.

A Demons’ attack that includes Kaiden Antonowicz, Nic Warnock and Jake Dickens will be up against Lachlan Tenace, Max Johnson and Jesse Collins.

An important duel will be in the centre where White Hills veteran Brady Childs, best afield last round, takes on Ben Holman.

Other players to watch in the red and black are James Davies, Patrick Eefting and Eli Pearce.

The Stacy Fiske-coached LBU will be desperate for the points and to regain confidence.

Premiership-winning coach Brodie Collins is in hot form for the Cats.

LBU will look for big games from ruckman and dual Sam Cheatley medallist Tyler Phillips, Stan Brentnall and Matthew Hinks in defence, and on-ballers Jeremy Mundie and Joseph Wolfe.

A red-hot Leitchville Gunbower tackles North Bendigo at Gunbower.

In the past four rounds the LG Bombers have beaten LBU, Mount Pleasant and Elmore, and went down to Heathcote by just seven points.

In round six, North Bendigo beat Leitchville Gunbower by 51 points.

Bulldogs’ coach Rob Bennett and his team will be wary of a vastly-improved opponent.

Those who have played a crucial role in the Bombers’ run include ruckman Jobee Warde, Chris Horman and Lachlan Sverns in attack, Zac Hislop and Billy Hawken.

The LG team for this round includes co-captains Hoby Bussey and Jye Keath, James and Tom Brereton, Caleb Hislop, Nathan McLellan and Oskar Smartt.

There’s plenty at stake for North Bendigo at Gunbower.

A win for the Bulldogs could put them back at number one, should Heathcote be beaten by the Blues.

North Bendigo has the marking power of Dylan Klemm, Jordan Ford and Cody Riddick to test the Bombers’ defence.

Hard-running midfielder Nic Waterson just keeps racking up possessions, and 200-plus gamer Ryan Alford is a crucial cog in defence.

Other key players for the Bulldogs include captain and 250-game player Aarryn Craig, ruckman Jeremy Lambden, Shane Harris and Manny Thalasinos.

Colbinabbin is back at M.J. Morgan Oval to take on the Harlowe Huntly Hawks.

In round six, Colbinabbin won at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve by 17 points.

The Jed Brain-coached Grasshoppers will be keen to mark a third victory.

Lapses in the second and last quarters proved costly for the green and gold at North Bendigo’s Hibo Hotel Oval last round.

Playing off a half-back flank for Colbo, Connor Aldous will be determined to play well against his former club.

A key match-up will be David Price at full-back against Huntly’s gun forward Lachy Wilson.

The Grasshoppers named Ben Barton at centre half-back, Darcy Brown and Jude Ryan in on-ball roles, and Clint Shields in the centre.

Other key players for the green and gold are Laine and Logan Fitzgerald, Will Lowe and Stephen Tuohey.

Victory will put Huntly within two points of Colbinabbin and Elmore.

The Hawks had the bye after a 17-goal loss to North Bendigo in the 13th round.

The Hawks have co-coaches Harry Whittle and Jayden Cordy to line up in the centre and at half-forward.

Other key players for the brown and gold are midfielder John Harvey, ruckman Jackson Fry, captain Steve Kairn and Abe Sladden at half-forward.

Best test for a Hawks’ defence that includes Kurt Forder, Matt Jeffries, Mitch Billings and Nathan Grace.

Elmore has the bye.

Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:

Heathcote 149 per cent, 40 points; North Bendigo 142, 40; White Hills 141, 36; Mount Pleasant 154, 32; Lockington Bamawm United 114, 28; Leitchville Gunbower 86, 24; Colbinabbin 77, 10; Elmore 65, 10; Huntly 41, 4.

Leaders in the goalkicking race:

56 Ben Weightman, Mount Pleasant.

52 Kaiden Antonowicz, White Hills.

45 Corey Grindlay, Heathcote.

37 Lachy Wilson, Huntly.

36 Chris Horman, Leitchville Gunbower.

36 Dylan Klemm, North Bendigo.

28 Anthony McMahon, Lockington Bamawm United.

28 Mitch Rovers, Mount Pleasant.

26 Jordan Ford, North Bendigo.

22 Liam Bartels, White Hills.

21 Braden Padmore, Heathcote.

20 Billy Hawken, Leitchville Gunbower.

20 Thomas Leech, Lockington Bamawm United.

20 Cody Riddick, North Bendigo.

19 Lachlan Sverns, Leitchville Gunbower.

18 Darcy Laffy, Elmore.

16 Victor Butler, Heathcote.

16 Jai Carn, Colbinabbin.

16 Aarryn Craig, North Bendigo.

16 Laine Fitzgerald, Colbinabbin.

15 Liam Birch, Heathcote.

15 Brodie Collins, Lockington Bamawm United.

15 Tyler Phillips, Lockington Bamawm United.

14 Adam Baird, Mount Pleasant.

14 Jed Brain, Colbinabbin.

14 James Davies, White Hills.

13 Mitch Bennett, Mount Pleasant.

13 Hakeem Johnson, North Bendigo.

13 Cohen Kekich, White Hills.

13 Riley McIvor, Lockington Bamawm United.

13 Jacob Styles, Elmore.

12 Liam Jacques, Heathcote.

12 Abe Sladden, Huntly.

11 Riley McNamara, Mount Pleasant.

11 Clint Shields, Colbinabbin.

11 Nic Warnock, White Hills.

10 Mitch Bennett, Mount Pleasant.

10 Kai Cavallaro, Heathcote.

10 Coby Dunlop, Mount Pleasant.

10 Bayden Fallon, White Hills.

10 Nic Waterson, North Bendigo.