HDFNL Round 16 Football Preview | Dogs tackle Demons in crucial contest


LOCKED on 10 wins apiece, North Bendigo and White Hills meet in a crucial 16th round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL senior footy action.

It’s third against second on North Bendigo’s turf at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street from 2.30pm.

The winner will still have a chance of grabbing top spot at the end of the home and away series.

After an eight-nil start to the season, North Bendigo’s form tapered off throughout July.

Past four hit-outs for the Rob Bennett-coached Bulldogs have been a loss at Lockington, wins against Huntly and Colbinabbin, and 31-point loss to Leitchville Gunbower at Gunbower.

The Jack Fallon and Jake Pallpratt-coached Demons ended July on a win-loss tally of 3-1.

After a loss to Heathcote at Pigeon Park in Barrack Reserve, White Hills has struck back to beat Elmore, Mount Pleasant and Lockington Bamawm United.

For North Bendigo a key factor will be its play at centre ball-ups and stoppages.

A highlight of the Bulldogs’ win at White Hills in round seven was its ability to win many contests and then work to outside runners.

The marking power of Dylan Klemm, Jordan Ford and Cody Riddick is a major strength in North Bendigo’s attack.

Other key players for the Bulldogs include midfielders Nic Waterson and Riley Paetow, ruckman Jeremy Lambden, Tim Deveraux and Matt Gray in defence.

The Dogs also have Ben Knight, Nathan Newlan and Manny Thalasinos to work hard at ground level.

A White Hills attack includes the brilliance of Kaiden Antonowicz and James Davies, while Liam Bartels booted five goals in last Saturday’s win at home against Lockington Bamawm United.

The Demons also have the experience of Brady Childs, Mitch Dole and Ben Bacon.

Others to watch in the red and black include Tom Brereton, Patrick Eefting, Ben Taylor and Nic Warnock.

Under pressure to hold its spot in the five, Lockington Bamawm United is back home at Nichol Trading Oval to take on the ladder-leading Heathcote.

Huge match for the Stacy Fiske-coached LBU which takes on the Saints, plays at Elmore and then on Mount Pleasant’s turf to complete the home and away series.

In the seventh round the Andrew Saladino-coached Saints outran the Cats.

Premiership-winning stars such as Brodie and Jesse Collins, ruckman Tyler Phillips, Riley McIvor and Jeremy Mundie will play key roles in LBU’s attempt to end Heathcote’s winning streak.

The Cats’ attack includes Baxter Anderson, Charlie and Matt Hinks.

LBU’s best in the clash at White Hills included Thomas Eade and wingman  Jacob Gardiner.

Heathcote again showed plenty of fighting spirit in a four-point win against Mount Pleasant at Barrack Reserve.

Saints’ gun forwards Corey Grindlay and Shannon Dowsett are back to bolster a team which has an 11-2 record.

Workrate is a key to the Saints’ success in which Braden Padmore, Liam Jacques, Liam Birch, captain Codie Price, and Jesse Davies have been to the fore.

Young ruckman Lachlan Freeman Taber faces another big test this round.

A tight-knit Heathcote defence is led by Ben Connelly, Connor Hamilton and Brayden Klemke.

Mount Pleasant takes on Elmore at Toolleen.

The Blues will be fired up after a hat-trick of defeats.

Co-coaches Ben Weightman and Adam Baird were among Mounts’ best against Heathcote.

In attack or an on-ball role, Weightman’s uncanny ability to find space and his precise delivery is superb.

The Blues also had Mitch Rovers play well against the Saints, along with key defender William Wallace, Riley McNamara and Fletcher White.

Mounts also has the run of Zebb Murrell and Pat O’Brien from a wing.

Elmore is back after a bye.

Tough test for the Mick Woolhouse-coached Bloods who have a record of two wins, a draw, 10 defeats.

Latest hit-out was an eight-goal loss to Heathcote, but Elmore played well to be within three goals at half-time.

Players to watch for the Bloods include captain Rhys Holmberg, Liam Gundry and Jarrad Kyne.

Elmore will look to Darcy Laffy, Sam Lees and Jacob Styles as the main targets in attack.

Another key player is ruckman Daniel Russell who takes on Blues’ captain Chris Down.

The Harlowe Huntly Hawks face Leitchville Gunbower at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.

When these teams met in round seven it was Leitchville Gunbower which marked its second win of the season in a 106-38 result.

From being 2-5 the Shannon Keam-coached Bombers are now 7-7 and keeping the heat on the fifth-placed LBU.

Brilliant effort by the Bombers last round to beat North Bendigo by 31 points at Gunbower.

The athletic Oskar Smarrt kicked six goals in LG’s latest win, but is not in this week’s team.

Another key player in the Bombers’ attack is Chris Horman.

Players to watch for the Bombers include Jye Keath at half-back, ruckman Jobee Warde, Zac Hislop and Nathan McLellan.

Leitchville Gunbower’s team bound for Huntly includes James and Tom Brereton, Hoby Bussey and Lachlan Sverns.

Another big test for the Hawks on the rebound from a 10-goal loss at Colbinabbin’s M.J. Morgan Oval.

Pressure on the midfield and on-ball will be vital for the team in brown and gold which has Harry Whittle and Jayden Cordy as playing coaches.

Key forward Lachy Wilson has kicked 40 goals to be equal fourth in the league’s goalkicking race.

Huntly will look for big games from the likes of Brodie Fry at centre half-forward, Koby Gibson and Abe Sladden in attack, captain Steve Kairn, and ruck-rover Harry McCormick.

Massive test for Jackson Fry in the ruck duels with Jobee Warde.

Colbinabbin has the bye.

Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:

Heathcote 145 per cent, 44 points; White Hills 146, 40; North Bendigo 135, 40; Mount Pleasant 149, 32; Lockington Bamawm United 106, 28; Leitchville Gunbower 89, 28; Colbinabbin 84, 14; Elmore 65, 10; Huntly 41, 4.

Leaders in the goalkicking race:

59 Ben Weightman, Mount Pleasant.

53 Kaiden Antonowicz, White Hills.

49 Corey Grindlay, Heathcote.

40 Chris Horman, Leitchville Gunbower.

40 Lachy Wilson, Huntly.

37 Dylan Klemm, North Bendigo.

31 Mitch Rovers, Mount Pleasant.

29 Antony McMahon, Lockington Bamawm United.

28 Jordan Ford, North Bendigo.

27 Liam Bartels, White Hills.

24 Braden Padmore, Heathcote.

20 Laine Fitzgerald, Colbinabbin.

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.

17 Jed Brain, Colbinabbin.

17 Brodie Collins, Lockington Bamawm United.

17 Aarryn Craig, North Bendigo.

16 Victor Butler, Heathcote.

16 Jai Carn, Colbinabbin.

16 James Davies, White Hills.

15 Adam Baird, Mount Pleasant.

15 Liam Birch, Heathcote.

15 Tyler Phillips, Lockington Bamawm United.

14 Cohen Kekich, White Hills.

13 Mitch Bennett, Mount Pleasant.

13 Hakeem Johnson, North Bendigo.

13 Riley McIvor, Lockington Bamawm United.

13 Clint Shields, Colbinabbin.

13 Abe Sladden, Huntly.

13 Jacob Styles, Elmore.

12 Liam Jacques, Heathcote.

12 Riley McNamara, Mount Pleasant.

11 Nic Warnock, White Hills.