HDFNL Week 1 Football Finals Review | Demons, Blues make winning start to finals action


WHITE Hills and Mount Pleasant triumphed in the weekend’s start to the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL senior footy finals series.

On Saturday it was the Demons from White Hills who turned up the heat against North Bendigo in the qualifying final at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.

Beaten by the Bulldogs in both home-and-away matches, White Hills carried underdog status into the match.

North Bendigo started strongly to lead 20-8 at quarter-time.

In the second it was the Demons who turned up the heat and slammed on 7.4 to 1.5 to gain a 23-point lead by half-time.

An evenly-fought third quarter went the way of White Hills, 17-13.

With Kaiden Antonowicz and James Daveis going on to kick a match-high four goals it was the Demons who charged to a 99-59 victory.

Other goalkickers for the red and black were Jake Allport, two; Thomas Brereton, Mitch Dole, Cohen Kekich and Ben Taylor.

The Jack Fallon and Jake Pallpratt-coached Demons did a superb defensive job to restrict the Dogs to a tally of eight goals.

Bulldogs’ captain Aaryn Craig was the only multiple goalkicker on two.

Other goalkickers were Jordan Ford, Hakeem Johnson, Dylan Klemm, Ben Knight, Cody Riddick and Billy Robertson.

Best for White Hills were Nathan Moffat, Brady Childs, Jake Dickens, Liam Bartels, Nic Warnock and Jake Pallpratt.

The Bulldogs’ best were Shane Harris, Jeremy Lambden, Aarryn Craig, Tim Devereaux, Riley Paetow and Ryan Alford.

On Sunday it was Mount Pleasant which ended Leitchville Gunbower’s great run.

Last season’s runner-up, Mount Pleasant made a hot start  to the elimination final at Hibo Hotel Oval in North Bendigo’s Atkins Street.

The Blues led the Bombers, 32-6 at quarter-time.

A hard-fought second term went Mount Pleasant’s way, 23-19.

In the third it was the Shannon Keam-coached Leitchville Gunbower which worked hard to score 2.1 as it held Mounts to a tally of 1.2.

The Blues scored 3.3 to 3.2 in the final term to complete an 84-58 victory.

Mounts was without co-coach and gun goalkicker Ben Weightman so it was Nick Edwards, three goals, and Jack Mackenzie and Bailey White, two, who stepped up to lead the attack.

Other goalkickers for the Blues were Riley McNamara, Zebb Murrell, Mitch Rovers and Caelan Smith.

The Bombers’ attack was led by Billy Hawken, three, and Nicholas Horman, two.

Bryce Barnstale, Tom Brereton, Lachlan Sverns and Austin Windridge were also on target for the red, yellow and black.

Mount Pleasant co-coach and gun on-baller Adam Baird was best afield as Fletcher White, Riley McNamara, Nick Edwards, Zebb Murrell and Michael Whiting played well.

Lachlan Martin, Jobee Warde, Josh Hawken, James Brereton, Zeb Ellwood and Jye Keath were best for the Bombers.

Wooden-spooner in ’22, Leitchville Gunbower fought back from a 0-4 start to the season to claim fifth place on a 9-7 record.

In the reserves competition, White Hills won a closely-fought qualifying final against North Bendigo at Heathcote.

The Bulldogs led 20-7 at quarter-time and 28-20 by the long break.

In the third it was the Demons who fired up to score 3.3 to 2.0.

A one-point lead for White Hills at the start of the final term was six at the end as it added three goals to 2.1.

Tom Parkinson and Jayden Sheean kicked two goals in a 59-53 victory.

Other goalkickers for the Demons were Rohan Cadzow, Samuel Lowes, Xavier Meersbergen, Liam Monaghan and captain Nic Wharton.

North Bendigo’s attack was led by Michael Thompson on four as Lachlan Furness, Lucas Keating, Jonas Somerville and Bailey Wingrave added one each.

Best for White Hills were Doolan Nihill, Liam Monaghan, Samuel Lowes, Ryan Clark, Jayden Sheean and Patrick Blood.

Denzel Cooper, Lachlan Furness, Michael Thompson, Lucas Keating, Tyler Bird and Adam Wild were the Bulldogs’ best.

In the reserves elimination final the Harlowe Huntly Hawks fought from a 19-point deficit at quarter-time to beat Lockington Bamawm United by 13 points.

The LBU Cats made a great start at North Bendigo to lead 26-7 at the first break.

Huntly struck back to score 3.2 to a point in the second to make it 27-all by half-time.

Scores were 42-all going into the final term.

Led by the play of Jack Burns, Lachlan Watson and Matt Rule it was Huntly which scored 4.1 to 2.0 in an entertaining final term to cap a 67-54 victory.

Huntly’s attack was led by Jack Burns, three, and Matt Rule, two.

Other goalkickers for the brown and gold were Jarrod Alford, Kane Andrews, Kurt Forder, Mitch Hogan and Lachlan Watson.

Bart Phillips kicked a match-high four goals for LBU as Luke Thompson added two and Rhys Bradley and Damien Kelly were also on target.

The Hawks’ best included Luke Bonnett, Bailey Jones and Kurt Forder.

Lockington Bamawm United’s best were Sam Wolfe, Jamie Maddison, Bart Phillips, Mitch Jones, Thomas Fitzgerald and Luke Thompson.

A great weekend for White Hills kicked off with the under-18s winning the qualifying final against Heathcote at Heathcote’s Pigeon Park.

Aiming for back-to-back premierships, White Hills dominated the second half.

At half-time the Demons led the Saints, 21-20.

In the third it was White Hills which began to win many more contests and scored 3.3 to nil.

The in-form Harry Sheilds capped off the Demons’ dominance by scoring six goals as Patrick Conlan and captain Macauley Johnson also goaled in a 57-29 victory.

Goalkickers for the Saints were Carterdwyer Cronin, Elijah Hurley, Thomas Johnson and Jack McCarthy.

Best for White Hills were Isaac Meersbergen, Harry Sheilds, Patrick Conlan, Oliver Edmiston, Brock Talbot and Seth Boyd.

Ryan Foster, Seth Creevey, Thomas Johnson, Daniel Butler, James Pringle and Elijah Hurley were Heathcote’s best.

On Sunday it was the Harlowe Huntly Hawks who won the elimination final against Lockington Bamawm United by 37 points.

The LBU Cats led 13-9 at quarter-time.

Huntly fired up to score 3.3 to a goal in the second.

The Hawks led 42-29 going into the final term and then slammed on 3.6 to nil to complete a 66-29 result.

Drew Costigan kicked four goals for the brown and gold as Mitch Billings, two, Hunter Connors and Jett Rowell capped off their team-mates work.

LBU’s attack was led by Lucas Holgate and captain Jai Milligan on two.

Best for Huntly were Archer Billings, Drew Costigan, Deacon Wheelhouse, Ethan Oaten, Josh Trotter and Kade Kalms.

Jai Milligan, Jonathan McAsey, Ashton Walker, Lucas Holgate, Xavier Hann and Jacob Haines played well for the Cats.

Second and first semi-finals will be played next weekend.

Action kicks off with the second semi-finals on Saturday at M.J. Morgan Oval in Colbinabbin.

In the seniors, Heathcote tackles White Hills from 2.15pm.

Mount Pleasant faces White Hills in the reserves match at 11.50am.

North Bendigo’s young guns kick off their finals campaign in the under-18s match at 9.45am against White Hills.

First semi-finals are on Sunday at Elmore Recreation Reserve.

North Bendigo’s and Elmore’s senior teams will be fighting to keep premiership hopes when they clash from 2.15pm.

The reserves clash at 11.50am features North Bendigo and Harlowe Huntly Hawks.

Heathcote and the Harlowe Huntly Hawks contest the under-18s game from 9.45am.