Wait for next premiership almost over for Mounts or LBU
A LONG wait for their next senior footy premiership is almost over for Mount Pleasant or Lockington Bamawm United.
The Blues or Cats will get their hands on the cup after Saturday’s grand finale to the Bendigo Bank Heathcote District Football Netball League’s season at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.
It’s been 16 years since Mount Pleasant beat Elmore by 37 points to claim its 19th senior footy premiership.
An incredible run by LBU from 2011 to 2014 netted four premiership victories in a row.
The Cats have quite a few players from that incredible era still playing and starring for them.
There were also lows as both clubs were near or on the bottom since those glory days.
In the run to this year’s finals, LBU achieved a 15-1 record before being beaten by 38 points in the second semi-final showdown with Mount Pleasant at Gunbower.
Mounts had a 13-3 record, which included losses to the Cats by 31 points on the Blues’ turf at Toolleen in round six, and a 71-94 loss at Lockington in the 15th round.
Jointly coached by Darren Walsh and Adam Baird, Mount Pleasant turned up the pressure and run by a significant margin in the finals series.
The Blues beat Colbinabbbin by 26 points in the qualifying final at Lockington and a week later stunned LBU in the second semi-final.
Key players in Mounts’ latest victory were ruckman Chris Down, ruck-rover Billy Mahony, and Jesse Tuohey.
A Michelsen medallist and premiership winner in his time at Golden Square, Adam Baird won plenty of the footy and was a danger inside the forward 50m arc where he kicked three goals.
Not only is Baird an assistant coach, he is also captain of the Blues.
The height and marking strength of Dean Tydell was to the fore as he kicked three goals and Jack Hamilton chipped in with two.
The Blues’ defence led by Bryce Hinneberg, Luke Marchesi, Daniel and Michael Whiting, and William Wallace also worked incredibly hard to limit the strong Cats’ attack whose only multiple goalkicker was Jarod Bacon on four.
A blow for the Blues was a shoulder injury to Bailey White who will be sidelined for the grand final.
Jack Teasdale makes his way into the grand final line-up.
Stung by defeat, the Brodie Collins-coached LBU hit back to win last Saturday’s preliminary final against Colbinabbin by 25 points.
There were anxious moments as the Grasshoppers were within five points in the last before LBU scored three unanswered goals.
Cats’ co-captains Jarod and Nathan Bacon, and Rhys Woodland have all played key roles in the club’s incredible run when it was unbeaten before the 2021 season was cut short by Covid, and then this season.
There will be plenty of crucial match-ups in the grand final.
Mount Pleasant full-forward Ben Weightman again the league’s goalkicking title on 68, but is just as dangerous and effective when moved to an on-ball or midfield role.
One of the recruits of the season, Chris Down moved from Sandhurst to Toolleen and has starred in many ruck contests.
Down will again play a pivotal role up against Tyler Phillips who has earned the Sam Cheatley Medal as league fairest and best the past two seasons.
There are plenty of options for LBU in on-ball roles.
The Cats named Jesse Collins as ruck-rover, Harley Cobb as rover, and Nathan Bacon in the centre.
Mounts’ midfielders Jesse Tuohey, Adam Baird and Zebb Murrell were superb in the second semi, not just in setting up attacks, but their defensive workrate.
A formidable LBU attack is led by Anthony McMahon, 48 goals; Jarod Bacon, 35; Thomas Leech, 32; and Ben Fulford, 24.
Other key players for the Cats include Riley McIvor, Lachlan Atherton, Trent Bacon, Charlie Hinks and Marcus Angove.
Schedule for Saturday’s grand finals at Huntly’s Strauch Reserve:
Under-18s at 9.30am: North Bendigo v White Hills.
Reserves at 11.20am: White Hills v Mount Pleasant.
Seniors at 2.20pm: Mount Pleasant v Lockington Bamawm United.
Written by Nathan Dole.