HDFNL Round 2 Football Preview


Demons fire up for clash with Blues

WHITE Hills will put the heat on Mount Pleasant in Saturday night’s match to complete the second round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL season.

The Demons will be on home turf at Scott Street in White Hills to tackle the Blues from 5.45pm.

The red and black is chasing back-to-back wins after a great start to the ’24 campaign at Huntly.

Mount Pleasant will be determined to bounce back from a 32-point loss to Heathcote in the rematch of last season’s grand finalists.

Centre clearances will be vital in the showdown of the Demons and Blues.

Mount Pleasant has gun ruckman Chris Down, Jack Hickman, Riley McNamara and Bailey White as likely starters for the first ball-up.

Key players for the Cameron Carter-coached Blues include Mitch Rovers in an on-ball or small forward role, Mitch Bennett, Ben Bisset and Caelan Smith in attack, and Daniel Frame and Fletcher White in defence.

Major challenge for Mounts will be limiting the impact of Demons forwards Kaiden Antonowicz, Liam Bartels, James Davies and Cohen Kekich.

A White Hills team jointly coached by Jack Fallon and Kaiden Antonowicz includes the height of Callum Crisp and Jack Lawton, and run of Tom Brereton, Patrick Eefting and Jake Pallpratt.

Another big match is at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve where the Saints take on Lockington Bamawm United.

The Andrew Saladino-coached Heathcote dominated most of the final hour of the clash with Mount Pleasant to win the rematch of last season’s grand finalists by 32 points.

Corey Grindlay was in superb touch as he kicked eight goals against the reigning premier and the classy Zak Saad chipped in with six.

Sidelined in round one because of a toe injury, Bill Direen is back in the Saints defence.

Players to watch for Heathcote include Cheatley medallist and on-baller Liam Jacques, ruckman James Orr, hard-running skipper Codie Price off half-back or a wing, and Lachlan Freeman Taber across the half-back line.

The Stacy Fiske-coached LBU made a superb start in a 38-point win against Leitchville Gunbower at Lockington.

Big test for Heathcote’s defence in limiting Stuart Taylor who kicked six goals against the Bombers.

Brodie and Jesse Collins inspire LBU team-mates with their relentless attack at all contests.

Ruckman Tyler Phillips is a dual winner of the Sam Cheatley medal as league fairest and best.

Inclusions for the Cats are captain Joseph Wolfe and Matt Cartwright.

Elmore is back on its turf to face North Bendigo at 2.15pm.

The Mick Woolhouse-coached Bloods were held to a tally of three goals across the last three terms in a 40-114 loss to Colbinabbin in round one.

Huge task for Elmore to outscore North Bendigo which had a first-round bye.

The Bloods will look to James Harney, Jake Dick-O’Flaherty and Kynan Sharpe to cap off moves into the forward 50m arc.

Other key players for Elmore are captain and ruckman Daniel Russell, Cobi Fitzpatrick at full-back, on-ballers Rhys Holmberg, Nathan Kay and Nick Mayne.

A new-look North Bendigo includes Golden Square premiership player Ryan Hartley in the centre, ruckman Aidan Brohm from Bears Lagoon-Serpentine, and wingman Bailey Cain.

The Rob Bennett-coached Bulldogs have an attack led by Dylan Klemmn, Jordan Ford and Hakeem Johnson.

Add in the experience of Ryan Alford, Aarryn Craig and Nick Waterson and North Bendigo is desperate to hit back after defeat in both of last season’s finals contests.

Leitchville Gunbower and Colbinabbin clash in the Bombers’ hangar at Gunbower.

The Shannon Keam-coached LG was outpointed at Lockington in round one.

Key players for the Bombers include co-captains Hoby Bussey and Jye Keath, full-forward Chris Horman, and the Brereton trio of James, Tom and Will.

Ruckman Jobee Warde will team up with Caleb Hislop and Charles Hancock for a lot of the centre ball-ups and stoppages.

It was a terrific start for the Jed Brain-coached Colbinabbin as it won at Elmore by 74 points.

The Grasshoppers won the second half, 79-7 as Nathan Basile, Alex Carr and Angus Martin led the way.

After a five-goal haul in round one, Carr will be a major focus of LG’s defence.

Other players to watch in the green and gold are Patrick Taban, Jude Ryan, captain Will Lowe, Jai Carn, Laine Fitzgerald and Jordan Wilson.

The Harlowe Huntly Hawks have the bye.

Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:

Colbinabbin 285 per cent, 4 points; White Hills 206, 4; Lockington Bamawm United 167, 4; Heathcote 140, 4; Mount Pleasant 71, 0; Leitchville Gunbower 59, 0; Huntly 48, 0; Elmore 35, 0; North Bendigo 0, 0.

Leading goalkickers:

8 Corey Grindlay, Heathcote.

6 Zak Saad, Heathcote.

6 Stuart Taylor, Lockington Bamawm United.

5 Alex Carr, Colbinabbin.

3 James Davies, White Hills.

3 Blake Dye, Leitchville Gunbower.

3 Cohen Kekich, White Hills.

3 Thomas Leech, Lockington Bamawm United.

3 Anthony McMahon, Lockington Bamawm United.

3 Hamish Morcom, Huntly.

3 Clint Shields, Colbinabbin.