BY NATHAN DOLE
LEAGUE newcomer Nullawil faces a huge challenge against Sea Lake Nandaly in Saturday’s fourth round of the Goldacres North Central FNL senior footy action.
The Maroons have made a brilliant start to be third on the ladder and now take on the ladder-leading Tigers at Sea Lake from 2.30pm.
Nullawil’s wins against Birchip-Watchem by 39 points, and St Arnaud by 111 points were followed by a bye last weekend.
The Brett Barker-coached Nullawil dominated its home game with the Saints in round two as Mitch Farmer kicked six goals and Adam Thomson added four.
Nullawil’s best in that match were David Isbister, Jordan Humphreys, Dean Putt, Dean Smith, Adam Thomson, and Zachary Caccaviello.
The Tigers roared to a 110-point win at St Arnaud’s Lord Nelson Park last round.
A formidable SLN team jointly coached by Bryce Delmenico and Billy McInnes includes Trent Donnan, ruckman and captain Ryan O’Sullivan, Max Cahoon and Austin Mertz.
Others to watch in the yellow and black are Will Simpson, Wade Donnan and John Summerhayes.
Charlton and St Arnaud will be desperate to mark their first victory of ’23 when they clash at Charlton Park.
The Andy Nisbet-coached Charlton was outplayed by a fired-up Birchip Watchem last round.
Best for the Navies in the match on the Bulls’ turf at George Cartwright Oval in Birchip were Patrick Soulsby, Jed Carey, Riely Thiesz and Jed Thompson.
Charlton’s team to take on the Saints includes captain Tim Hill, Anthony Judd, Travis Baird, Jaydon Cowling, Nick Thompson and Jackson Zagame.
The Saints had limited scoring chances against Sea Lake Nandaly.
Harley Durward, Thomas Bertalli, Nick Birthisel and Jake Hicks were best in that contest.
Other key players for St Arnaud include coach Anthony Bourke, captain Kurtis Torney, Jacob Tillig, William Bertalli, and Dillon Baldock.
Another big match will be at Wycheproof where Wycheproof-Narraport takes on Birchip-Watchem.
It’s been a great start by the Boe Bish-coached Demons who have beaten Donald and Wedderburn, and then drew 82-all at Boort Park.
In-form players for Wycheproof-Narraport include Spencer Allan and Joe Kenny in defence, Gedd and Koby Hommelhoff.
The Demons also have Cody Green at full-forward, Lachlan Van Schaik in the ruck, plus the skilful Aaron and Justin Bateson, and Josh Walsh.
It’s a massive task for the Demons as the Bulls charged to a big win against Charlton after being stung by consecutive defeats.
Key players for the Trevor Ryan-coached Birchip-Watchem include Ben Edwards and Nathan Gordon in attack, Jos Builder in the ruck, captain Dale Hinkley, and Nicholas Rippon roving many contests.
The Bulls also have Sam Simmons, Lachlan Ryan, Bodie Colbert and Lachy Foott capable of racking up many possessions.
Donald is at home to take on Boort.
It’s a crucial match for both clubs as the Royals fight to make their way into the top four, and for Boort to improve on its tally of 1 ½ wins.
The Rohan Brown-coached Donald fought for an 82-61 win on Wedderburn’s turf at Donaldson Park last Saturday.
Best for the Royals were Sam Dunstan, captain Ryan Hards, and Chris Lynch.
Ross Young won the Feeny Medal as NCFNL fairest and best last season and is one of the club’s most valuable players, along with Ryley Barrack and Rian McGough.
The Dale Cameron-coached Boort had rover Matt Chisari, co-captain Keiren Wilson, Jack Smith and Alex Davis star in the drawn clash with the Demons.
Key players for the Magpies include Jarrod Fitzpatrick, Brayden Aitken, Darcy Hawker, Natnael McLaren, Jesse Muscatello and Angus Trethowan.
Wedderburn has the bye.
North Central FNL senior footy ladder:
Sea Lake Nandaly 222 per cent, 12 points; Wycheproof-Narraport 128, 10; Nullawil 345, 8; Boort 132, 6; Birchip-Watchem 152, 4; Donald 107, 4; Wedderburn 104, 4; Charlton 27, 0; St Arnaud 13, 0.
21 Ben Edwards, Birchip-Watchem.
11 Sam Barnes, Wedderburn.
10 Sam Dunstan, Donald.
10 Gedd Hommelhoff, Wycheproof-Narraport.
9 Tom Campbell, Wedderburn.
9 Mitch Farmer, Nullawil.
9 Cody Green, Wycheproof-Narraport.
9 Billy McInnes, Sea Lake Nandaly.