NCFL Round 13 Preview | Vital matches at Nullawil, Birchip


THIS Saturday’s 13th round in the Goldacres North Central FNL senior footy action features big games at Nullawil and Birchip from 2.30pm.

League newcomer Nullawil has had a superb run to be second in the premiership race on a 7-3 record.

The Maroons are on home turf at Nullawil this Saturday to tackle the unbeaten Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers.

When these clubs met in round four it was the Tigers which won 91-47 at Sea Lake.

Rested by the bye, Nullawil will be fired up to break SLN’s winning streak.

Key players for the Brett Barker-coached Nullawil include Zac Caccaviello, Andrew Casey, Jordan Humphreys and Dean Putt.

The Maroons’ defence faces a huge task.

Targets for Sea Lake Nandaly inside the forward 50m arc include co-coach Billy McInnes, former Adelaide and Geelong player Josh Jenkins, and Will Simpson.

Best for the Tigers in last week’s 18-goal win against St Arnaud included Charlie Cox, Trent Donnan, Tyson McKenzie and ruckman Ryan O’Sullivan.

It’s third against fifth as Birchip-Watchem tackles Wycheproof-Narraport at Birchip’s George Cartwright Oval.

These teams are separated by two premiership points.

The Boe Bish-coached Wycheproof-Narraport would jump above the Bulls and possibly grab third place should Donald be beaten.

In round four it was Birchip-Watchem which charged to a 114-point win at Wycheproof.

The Bulls and Demons both won their latest matches.

It was a hard-fought two-goal win for the Trevor Ryan-coached Birchip-Watchem at Charlton.

The Demons defeated Boort by 25 points.

Nathan Gordon kicked five goals for the Bulls last round and will test the Demons defence, as will Ben Edwards, Daniel Castellano and Nicholas Rippon.

The Bulls’ line-up includes Jos Builder, Lachlan Ryan, Patrick Sheahan and Sam Simmons.

Key players for the Demons include Gedd and Koby Hommelhoff, Lachlan Van Schaik, Rick and Spencer Allan, and Josh Walsh.

Wycheproof-Narraport also has the leadership of Joel Turner and Boe Bish.

It will be St Arnaud which marks its first victory of the season, or a third win for Charlton when the Saints and Navies clash at St Arnaud’s Lord Nelson Park.

Charlton won the fourth round clash with the Saints by 34 points.

The Anthony Bourke-coached St Arnaud faced the might of Sea Lake Nandaly last round.

Previous two hit-outs were against Nullawil and Birchip-Watchem.

In-form players for the Saints include William Bertalli, Nick Birthisel and Harley Durward.

A St Arnaud attack that includes Jake Hicks, Anthony Bourke, Dillon Baldock and Jake Male will be sweating on plenty of opportunities.

The Andy Nisbet-coached Charlton has Chris Gavaghan and Nick Thompson starring in attack.

Other key players for the Navies include Harrison and Jesse Taylor, and Aaron Walklate in midfield; Jed Carey, Travis Baird and Jaydon Cowling.

Charlton marked one of its best matches of the season against Birchip-Watchem last round.

Boort faces Donald at Boort Park.

In round four it was the Dale Cameron-coached Boort which won at Donald by 10 points.

The Rohan Brown-coached Donald has fought back from a 1-2 start to now 7-3 and fourth on the ladder.

Donald won last Saturday’s home game against Wedderburn by 32 points as Sam Dunstan kicked six goals to move to a season tally of 49.

A talented squad representing Donald includes captain Josh Potter, Feeny medallist Ross Young, Trent Grant, Will Burke, Rian McGough and Rory O’Shannessy.

Boort is on the rebound from a 25-point loss on Wycheproof’s turf.

The Magpies will be desperate to mark their fourth victory in a season which included a draw with Wycheproof-Narraport.

Best in Boort’s latest match included Jarrod Fitzpatrick, Sam Green, Matt Hodoras, Ryan McGhie, Natnael McLaren and Tom Potter.

Wedderburn has the bye.

North Central FNL senior footy ladder:

Sea Lake Nandaly 259 per cent, 44 points; Nullawil 170, 28; Birchip-Watchem 165, 28; Donald 114, 28; Wycheproof-Narraport 95, 26; Weddeburn 92, 16; Boort 91, 14; Charlton 48, 8; St Arnaud 29, 0.

Leaders in the goalkicking race:

49 Sam Dunstan, Donald.

43 Ben Edwards, Birchip-Watchem.

33 Billy McInnes, Sea Lake Nandaly.

32 Sam Barnes, Wedderburn.

31 Adam Thomson, Nullawil.

30 Nathan Gordon, Birchip-Watchem.

25 Tom Campbell, Wedderburn.

24 Josh Jenkins, Sea Lake Nandaly.

23 Gedd Hommelhoff, Wycheproof-Narraport.

23 Nick Thompson, Charlton.

22 Will Simpson, Sea Lake Nandaly.

21 Daniel Castellano, Birchip-Watchem.

19 Mitch Farmer, Nullawil.

19 Jarrod Fitzpatrick, Boort.

19 John Summerhayes, Sea Lake Nandaly.

18 Nicholas Rippon, Birchip-Watchem.

16 Danny Benaim, Wedderburn.

16 Thomas Cox, Sea Lake Nandaly.