Bridgewater aims to stop Panthers cubs starting possible premiership trifecta
BRIDGEWATER will aim to stop Marong’s cubs kicking off a possible football premiership trifecta for the Panthers in Saturday’s under-18s football clash on Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League grand final day.
First of three big football contests kicks off at 10.30am at Marist College Bendigo in Maiden Gully.
The Zack Turnbull and Patty Gretgrix-coached Marong achieved a 13-2 record in the home-and-away to lead the ladder in the four-team competition.
Bridgewater was second on a 10-5 record.
Based on a win-loss tally of 5-1 against the Mean Machine this season, Marong will start favourite to claim the premiership cup.
The Panthers won the showdowns with Bridgewater in rounds two, eight, 11 and 14 by margins of eight, 46, 93 and 13 points.
The Wayne Naughton-coached Bridgewater marked a 70-57 victory on Marong’s turf at Malone Park in round four.
Latest meeting between the teams was the second semi-final at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve.
Marong led 14-6 at quarter-time and 20-13 by the main break.
The Panthers dominated the second half as they scored 3.4 to a point in the third term, and 3.6 to 1.1 in the last to complete a 66-21 victory.
Kynan Baldwin kicked a match-high four goals to be among the best with Ben Cruise, Noah McCaig, Brodie Coombs, Bailey Holland and Mitchell Worme.
Bridgewater’s best in that contest were Darcy Wood, Cooper Rooke, Jack Langtree, Terry Nitschke, Cale Woodhatch and Oscar Horan.
The Mean Machine bounced back to win a thrilling preliminary final showdown with Inglewood at Holloway Air Riverside Oval in Newbridge.
The Blues led 21-1 at quarter-time and 34-20 by the long break.
Bridgewater fired up to score 3.1 to a point in the third quarter.
Inglewood won the last term, 18-15, but Bridgewater led 54-53 when the final siren sounded.
Rusty Hobbs, Toby Naughton and Cale Woodhatch kicked two goals apiece for the Machine.
Bridgewater’s best were Cale Woodhatch, Hudson Pidoto, Toby Naughton, Jack Langtree and Terry Nitschke.
Key players for Marong include Jack Collins who has kicked 35 goals and Jacob Manning, 25.
Other players to watch in the Panthers line-up are captain Zac Justice, Lachlan Hale, Josh Hall, Kobe McCaig, Byron Rogers, Spencer Taylor and Kai Terrill.
Bridgewater’s leading goalkickers are Jack Langtree and Toby Naughton, 22; Mitchell Flood and Hudson Pidoto, 21.
Runner-up in the league best and fairest award to Gabe Nevins from Inglewood, Toby Naughton will be keen to claim a premiership medal.
Panthers clubmates Bailey Holland, Noah McCaig and Brodie Coombs polled well in the league award, but it’s team glory they will be craving to celebrate.
Written by Nathan Dole.