HDFNL Round 4 Football Preview


Heathcote tackles long-time nemesis

HEATHCOTE takes on long-time nemesis, North Bendigo in Saturday’s fourth round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL senior footy action.

It’s been more than a decade since the Saints have beaten the Bulldogs.

Their showdown on Heathcote’s turf at Pigeon Park in Barrack Reserve carries match of the day status.

Although hit by a long-term knee injury to dynamic mid-forward Zak Saad, Heathcote has plenty of attacking power to test the Bulldogs.

Gun forward Corey Grindlay has kicked 19 goals and also been superb when moved to an on-ball or midfield role.

Heathcote coach Andrew Saladino could swing the versatile Braden Padmore to be a key target in the forward 50m arc, and then there’s the height and strength of Cooper Webber-Mirkin.

Runner-up in ’23, Heathcote bolstered its line-up by recruiting ruckman James Orr and key defender Daniel Johnstone.

Both have played siginifcant roles in an unbeaten start to the season.

The running power and skill of co-captains Liam Jacques and Codie Price, Rhys Bolton and Joseph Beedle is a major strength of the Saints game.

North Bendigo will be primed for its biggest test so far.

The Rob Bennett-coached Bulldogs also have a strong attack led by Dylan Klemm, Jordan Ford, Cody Riddick and newcomer Jake Dean.

In the on-ball duels the Dogs have the experience of captain Aarryn Craig, gun recruit Ryan Hartley, and triple premiership player Tyson Findlay who is back in the kennel after a stint with Cohuna.

Big task to be played by Aidan Brohm in the ruck contests.

A red-hot White Hills is back home at Scott Street to take on Colbinabbin.

The Demons dominated their latest hit-out at Lockington to win by 106 points.

Co-coaches Kaiden Antonowicz and Jack Fallon were named at full-forward and half-forward.

The Demons also have the marking power of Nicholas Warnock in attack and the skilful Mitch Dole and Patrick Eefting at ground level.

The height of Callum Crisp and Jack Lawton will be difficult for Colbinabbin to contend with.

Been a tough run for the Jed Brain-coached Colbinabbin which is in the den a week after playing Heathcote.

Former coach Julian Best was best for the Grasshoppers against the Saints.

Jai Carn and Alex Carr are the main targets in a Colbinabbin attack that includes Jordan Wilson and Jamaica Ilsley.

The Grasshoppers will look for big games from the likes of Hugh McMurtrie, Angus Martin and Connor Aldous in defence; James Duke in the ruck; and midfielders Alex Van Ruiswyk, Nathan Basile and Jimmy McMurtrie.

It’s the Hawks against the Cats as the Harlowe Huntly Hawks are home at Strauch Reserve to play Lockington Bamawm United.

Both teams were stung by big defeats last round.

Given enough supply, Huntly forwards Lachy Wilson, Harry Whittle and Abe Sladden will test LBU.

The Hamish Morcom-coached Hawks have Dale Lowry in the centre, Jackson Fry in the ruck, and rover Ben Daley capable of winning plenty of the footy.

Others to watch in the brown and gold include Tori Ferguson, Brodie Fry and and captain Steve Kairn.

The Stacy Fiske-coached LBU will be determined to bounce back from defeat.

Stuart Taylor kicked six goals in the round one victory against Leitchville Gunbower.

The Cats have Anthony McMahon, Jeremy Mundie and Charlie Hinks to cap off the work of Joseph Wolfe, Brodie Collins, Lachlan Tenace and Matt Hore with goals.

Leitchville Gunbower tackles Elmore at Gunbower.

The Shannon Keam-coached Bombers were outgunned at North Bendigo last round.

Key players in the LG team include ruckman Jobee Warde, Chris Horman, Caleb Hislop in the centre, Thomas Guerra, Hoby Bussey, Jye Keath and Nathan McLellan.

Elmore is back from a bye.

The Mick Woolhouse-coached Bloods have James Harney capable of kicking plenty of goals.

A key for the Bloods will be the pressure at centre ball-ups and stoppages through the play of Daniel Russell, Nathan Kay, Dominic Dick-O’Flaherty and Luke Price.

Elmore will also look to Cobi Fitzpatrick, Rhys Holmberg, Joseph Harney and Nick Mayne to compete strongly all match.

Mount Pleasant has the bye.

Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:

White Hills 238 per cent, 12 points; Heathcote 231, 12; North Bendigo 218, 8; Mount Pleasant 118, 4; Colbinabbin 85, 4; Leitchville Gunbower 58, 4; Lockington Bamawm United 54, 4; Elmore 45, 0; Huntly 34, 0.

Leading goalkickers:

19 Corey Grindlay, Heathcote.

10 Kaiden Antonowicz, White Hills.

10 Alex Carr, Colbinabbin.

10 Dylan Klemm, North Bendigo.

10 Zak Saad, Heathcote.

9 Liam Bartels, White Hills.

8 Anthony McMahon, Lockington Bamawm United.

7 Ben Bisset, Mount Pleasant.

7 James Harney, Elmore.

7 Cohen Kekich, White Hills.

6 Christian Hatzis, Mount Pleasant.

6 Stuart Taylor, Lockington Bamawm United.

5 Liam Birch, Heathcote.

5 James Davies, White Hills.

5 Jake Dean, North Bendigo.

5 Chris Horman, Leitchville Gunbower.

5 Jake Miller, White Hills.

5 Cooper Webber-Mirkin, Heathcote.

4 Jed Brain, Colbinabbin.

4 Chris Down, Mount Pleasant.

4 Ryan Hartley, North Bendigo.

4 Thomas Leech, Lockington Bamawm United.