LVFNL Round 5 Football Preview


Gun forwards on show at Bridgewater

GUN forwards Lachlan Sharp and Josh Mellington will be in action when Bridgewater hosts Bears-Lagoon Serpentine in Saturday’s fifth round of the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL season.

A match featuring the competition’s top two goalkickers in what is Community Umpiring Round adds plenty of spice as second takes on third.

Sharp and Mellington are both in their first seasons with the Mean Machine and Bears respectively.

A tally of 36 goals has Sharp second in a goalkicking race led by Mellington on 41.

Both teams are on the rebound from defeat.

Bridgewater was held to just three goals in a 53-point loss at Pyramid Hill’s Mitchell Park.

The Bears played at Marong’s Malone Park where the home team marked a 125-87 victory.

A big focus for the Rick Ladson-coached Bridgewater will be on centre clearances and stoppages.

Although Bridgewater boasts a formidable attack it cannot do a lot when the ball is in the opposition forward 50m arc.

Key players for Bridgewater include Boden Alexander, Lee Coghlan, Harry Donegan, Joseph Mayes, Jack Neylon and Xavier Walsh.

After lodging an early guilty plea for rough conduct, Bridgewater’s Jack Symons will sit out a one-game ban.

The Jake Wilkinson-coached Bears worked hard at Marong, but the premier of the past two seasons was too strong.

BLS has the experience of Justin Laird, Tyler Miles and Andy Gladman teamed with the run and skill of Darcy Hawker, Doolan Nihill and James Rippingale.

Maiden Gully YCW Eagles will be back on home turf at Marist College Oval to take on Inglewood.

An LVFNL board sanction to dock the Eagles 12 premiership points means Maiden Gully YCW is still on zero on the ladder, despite beating Calivil United and Mitiamo.

Best for the Eagles in a four-point win on Mitiamo’s turf at John Forbes Oval were Josia Farrer, Luke Deslandes, Ed Crisp and Matthew Crooks.

An Eagles’ team jointly coached by Shawn Filo, non-playing, and Angus Monfries, playing, includes Todd Delaney, Ryan Strauch, Lachie Sobina and captain Josh Worsley.

Inglewood marked its first win of the season last round.

The Fergus Payne-coached Blues beat Newbridge, 95-70 at Centre State Scaffolding Oval in Newbridge.

Players to watch for the Blues include Tom Kennedy, Liam Marciano, Luke Matheson, Daniel Polack.

Inglewood has two players with the identical name of Will Allen wearing numbers one and 58.

The Superoos from Mitiamo are on their home ground to take on Pyramid Hill.

Huge challenge for the Jon Varcoe-coached Mitiamo on the rebound from a four-goal loss at Calivil.

Key players for the Superoos include Brayden Baines, Andrew Cussen, Luke Lougoon, Jayden Matthews and Nathan Twigg.

Mitiamo’s ability to apply sustained pressure to a strong on-ball and midfield from Pyramid Hill will be crucial.

Being able to hold Bridgewater to a score of 22 points was one of Pyramid Hill’s best defensive feats of recent seasons.

In-form players for the Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Bulldogs include Damon Hemphill, Adrian Holland, Gavin James and Tom McGregor.

Pyramid Hill’s team to tackle the Superoos includes Zach Alford, Bailey George, captain Steven Gunther, Ben Knight and Lachlan Sidebottom.

After a great win at home last Saturday, Calivil United is at home again to take on the ladder-leading Marong.

Demons’ coach Anthony Dennis was in superb touch as he kicked four and was best afield in the 26-point win against Mitiamo.

Pressure from Marong will be ramped up several levels.

Key players for Calivil United include Lewis Fisher, Jack Maher, Kane Shelton, and Cody and Darcy Thompson.

The Demons will also for look for big games from Blair Richards at full back, Sam Green at centre half-back, Jordan Lea and Ethan Mulqueen.

In pursuit of a premiership hat-trick, Marong’s desperation and willingness to compete has not dropped away.

A powerful Panthers’ attack is led by Kain Robins, Ryan Wellington and Matt Riordan.

The versatility of Shaun Knott and Richard Tibbett are a huge plus for Marong coach Linton Jacobs.

In-form players for the champions of ’22 and ’23 include Nathan Devanny, Lachlan Frankel and Matt Willox.

Newbridge has the bye.

Marong 293 per cent, 16 points; Bridgewater 187, 12; Bears-Lagoon Serpentine 134, 12; Pyramid Hill 198, 8; Inglewood 49, 4; Calivil United 47, 4; Maiden Gully YCW 70, 0; Mitiamo 46, 0; Newbridge 45, 0.

Leading goalkickers:

41 Josh Mellington, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.

36 Lachlan Sharp, Bridgewater.

14 Zach Alford, Pyramid Hill.

14 Kain Robins, Marong.

14 Jesse Sheahan, Pyramid Hill.

13 Ryan Wellington, Marong.

10 Noah McCaig, Marong.

8 Todd Delaney, Maiden Gully YCW.

8 Chris Dixon, Newbridge.

8 Bailey Scott, Pyramid Hill.

8 Ryley Taylor, Marong.

7 Mitch Conlan, Inglewood.

7 Jaydon Cowling, Pyramid Hill.

7 Sam Gale, Newbridge.