Bulls charge into semi-final showdown with Royals
THE Bulls from Birchip Watchem will aim to charge into a senior footy grand final when they play Donald in this Saturday’s second semi-final in the Goldacres North Central Football League.
Being first to the September 10 grand final is the prize at stake at Sea Lake.
Just days after being crowned the Feeny medallist as league fairest and best, Donald midfielder Ross Young will lead the Rohan Brown-coached Royals into their third showdown with the Bulls this season.
In round three it was Blake Grant and Ross Young who kicked four and three goals respectively in an 81-64 victory for the Royals on the Bulls’ ground at George Cartwright Oval in Birchip.
The Bulls’ attack was led by Elliot Jaeschke on three.
Donald’s best in that clash were Ross Young, Ryan Hards, Ryley Barrack and Brody Haddow.
Best for Birchip Watchem were James Lindeback, Lochlan Sirett, Marshall Rippon and Will Sheahan.
The Trevor Ryan-coached Bulls have since gone on a 13-game winning streak.
Next meeting in the 10th round ended in a one-goal win for Birchip Watchem.
The Bulls led 16-7 at quarter-time, but Donald struck back for a 28-26 lead at the long break.
A tally of 5.3 to 2.3 in the third put the Bulls in charge.
Donald won the last term, 25-14, but the Bulls took the premiership points in a 74-68 victory.
Best for the Trevor Ryan-coached Birchip Watchem were Clayton Hinkley, ruckman Lochlan Sirett, Elliot Jaeschke and Lachlan Ryan.
Brody Haddow, Ryan Hards, Darcy Harrison and James Wall played well for Donald.
Both teams have racked up some big scores in their run to the finals.
The Bulls attack is led by Daniel Castellano and Will Sheahan on 42 goals apiece, and Nathan Gordon has kicked 26 in six matches.
Key players in Birchip Watchem’s defence are Dale Hinkley, Josh Booth and Joseph Reid.
Leading goalkickers for Donald are Leigh Burke, 34; Blake Grant, 33; Brody Haddow, 28; and Josh Potter, 27.
The Royals will also look for big games from the likes of Jordan Bath, Will Burke, Daniel Venditti and Seamus Young.
The Haeuslers-backed reserves match between Donald and Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers starts at 12.35pm.
Both teams have identical records of 14-2, but Donald was 65 per cent clear of the Tigers in the race to top spot.
It’s the Tigers who have won both contests with the Royals.
In round seven, Sea Lake Nandaly won 67-47 at home, and then 47-35 on Donald’s turf in the 14th round.
In the Charlton and District Community Bank under-17s, Boort takes on Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers from 10.55am.
The Magpies beat the Tigers by 55 points in round six at Boort Park.
It was a closer margin in the 13th round as the Tigers marked a 57-39 victory at Sea Lake.
Both teams have 11-3 records.
A big day for Sea Lake Nandaly kicks off with the Tigers’ cubs in the Uniting Church under-14s match against Donald from 9.30am.
In round seven, SLN won 29-12, but Donald dominated the 14th round clash for a 47-1 result.
A 15-1 record earned Donald top spot on the ladder as the Tigers’ win-loss record was 14-1, and included a draw with St Arnuad.
Schedule for Saturday’s second semi-finals at Sea Lake Oval:
Seniors at 2.30pm: Birchip Watchem v Donald.
Reserves at 12.35pm: Donald v Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers.
Under-17s at 10.55am: Boort v Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers.
Under-14s at 9.30am: Donald v Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers.
Teams through to preliminary finals on September 3 at Charlton Park are Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers, seniors; Birchip Watchem, reserves and under-17s; and St Arnaud, under-14s.
Written by Nathan Dole.