BY NATHAN DOLE
PLAYERS and fans of Leitchville Gunbower celebrated a stunning victory against Lockington Bamawm United in Saturday’s fifth round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL senior footy season.
The Bombers had not won since round two of the ’22 campaign.
On Saturday it was the Bombers who won every quarter on their turf at Leitchville to beat the Cats by 25 points.
It’s not often the wooden spooner of the previous season defeats the reigning premier, but it happened on Saturday.
The Shannon Keam-coached Leitchville Gunbower led 20-12 at quarter-time and then scored 4.2 to 3.4 in the second term.
Although LBU lifted to do plenty of attacking in the third the shots at goal were astray as the Cats added 1.5 and LG scored two majors.
In the last it was the Bombers who continually pumped the ball into their forward 50m arc to score 3.6 to 2.0.
An 82-57 victory was Keam’s first as coach of Leitchville Gunbower and the club’s first at senior level since April 16 of last year at Huntly.
Leitchville Gunbower’s attack was led by Tom Brereton, three; Tyler Jones and Matt McLellan, two.
Multiple goalkickers for LBU were captain Brodie Collins, Thomas Leech and Jake Rorke.
The Bombers’ best were Caleb Hislop, Tom Brereton, Lachlan Martini, Lachlan Sverns, Jye Keath and Mitchell Candy.
Jake Rorke, Ben Holman, Tyler Phillips, Jacob Gardiner, Joseph Wolfe and Thomas Eade were best for the Stacy Fiske-coached LBU.
Mount Pleasant’s hot run rolled on as the Blues won at Winslow Constructors Oval in White Hills by 51 points.
Jointly coached by Adam Baird and Ben Weightman, Mounts set up their victory with a first-term blitz of 6.1 to 1.2.
A Blues’ attack led by Weightman and the classy Mitch Rovers was always going to test the Demons and it did.
Recruited to Toolleen from Kangaroo Flat, Rovers kicked a match-high five goals and Weightman added three.
Mounts led 67-31 at half-time and although the Demons worked hard their inaccuracy was costly as the Blues won 16.7 (103) to 6.16 (52).
Best for Mounts were Mitch Rovers, ruckman Chris Down, Fletcher White, key defender William Wallace, Ben Weightman, and Bryce Hinneberg.
Thomas Brereton, Ben Taylor, co-coaches Jake Pallpratt and Jack Fallon, Cohen Kekich and Rhys Irwin were best for White Hills.
It was a thrilling finish to the Colbinabbin and North Bendigo showdown on Colbo’s turf at M.J. Morgan Oval.
The Jed Brain-coached Grasshoppers made a great start to lead 26-15 at quarter-time.
In the second it was a Bulldogs line-up inspired by the play of Billy Robertson and Ben Knight in midfield and Layton Ross in defence which took control to score 5.4 to 2.0.
An 11-point lead for the Bulldogs at half-time became 29 in the third before the Grasshoppers scored six unanswered goals.
Colbinabbin was up by 11 points when it was first to goal in the final term.
The Rob Bennett-coached Bulldogs kept surging the ball forward through the play of Storm Giri, Jack Francis and Jake Hall.
When triple premiership winner Jordan Ford was freed in a marking contest he kicked his fifth to put the Bulldogs back in front.
North Bendigo’s unbeaten run stayed intact, but only just in an 85-82 result for the red, white and blue.
Ford led the attack while talented teenager Cody Riddick kicked three in his best match of the season.
Goalkickers for Colbinabbin were not supplied.
Best for the Grasshoppers were Riley Hogan, Ben Barton, Logan Fitzgerald, Will Lowe, David Price and Jasper McArdle.
Heathcote turned a two-point deficit at half-time into a 37-point win against Elmore on the Saints’ ground at Barrack Reserve.
The Saints led 20-19 at quarter-time, but Elmore had most of the play in the second as it scored 1.5 to 1.2.
Gun forward Corey Grindlay continued his superb form by capping off many of Heathcote’s attacks in the second half.
Grindlay went on to kick a match-high eight goals as the Andrew Saladino-coached Saints dominated the final hour.
Heathcote scored 11.7 to 5.4 in the second half to complete a 101-64 victory.
Skilful on-baller Liam Jacques and Kai Cavallaro were other multiple goalkickers for the Saints on two each.
Elmore’s attack was led by Darcy Laffy, three; Sam Lees and Daniel Russell, two.
Best for Heathcote were Liam Jacques, Connor Hamilton, Corey Grindlay, Codie Price, Joseph Beedle and Braden Padmore.
Daniel Russell, Nathan Kay, Darcy Laffy, Dylan Gordon, Zac Laffy and Jack Cairns played well for the Dylan Friedberger-coached Bloods.
Huntly had the bye.
Heathcote DFNL senior footy ladder:
Mount Pleasant 208 per cent, 16 points; North Bendigo 138, 16; Heathcote 165, 12; White Hills 125, 12; Lockington Bamawm United 114, 8; Elmore 83, 8; Colbinabbin 77, 4; Leitchville Gunbower 53, 4; Huntly 39, 0.
Leaders in the goalkicking race:
27 Ben Weightman, Mount Pleasant.
26 Corey Grindlay, Heathcote.
18 Mitch Rovers, Mount Pleasant.
17 Kaiden Antonowicz, White Hills.
14 Jordan Ford, North Bendigo.
14 Lachy Wilson, Huntly.
12 Darcy Laffy, Elmore.
11 Chris Horman, Leitchville Gunbower.
10 Laine Fitzgerald, Colbinabbin.
10 Dylan Klemm, North Bendigo.
9 Riley McNamara, Mount Pleasant.
In next Saturday’s sixth round, Mount Pleasant takes on Heathcote at Toolleen from 2.30pm.
Lockington Bamawm United takes on White Hills at Lockington as the Cats and Demons aim to rebound from defeat.
Huntly and Colbinabbin clash in the Hawks’ nest at Specialist Breeders Australia Oval in Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
North Bendigo faces Leitchville Gunbower at Hibo Hotel Oval in North Bendigo’s Atkins Street.
Elmore has the bye.