NCFL Round 7 Preview


Top-three teams clash at Wedderburn

A CLASH between top-three teams Wedderburn and Birchip-Watchem highlights this Saturday’s seventh round in the Goldacres North Central senior footy season.

Third in the premiership race on a three-two record, Wedderburn is on home turf at Donaldson Park to take on the unbeaten Birchip-Watchem from 2.45pm.

It’s a massive challenge for the Tom Metherell-coached Wedderburn on the rebound from a seven-point loss at Wycheproof last round.

Key players for the Redbacks include ruckman Jordan Hargreaves, Tom Campbell and Anthony Zelencich in attack, captain Joe Lockhart, Adam Postle and Jason McEwen.

On-ball and midfield duels will be crucial.

The Redbacks will need to apply plenty of heat to stifle the slick teamwork of the Trevor Ryan-coached Birchip-Watchem.

Major threat to Wedderburn’s chances is gun forward Ben Edwards who is a runaway leader in the goalkicking race on 43 goals.

The Bulls also have Nicholas Rippon and Joseph Reid to cap off attacks.

A strong line-up from Birchip-Watchem includes gun ruckman Hamish Hosking, Lachy Foott, Dale Hinkley, Marshall Rippon, Sam Simmons and Lochlan Sirett.

Locked on two wins apiece, Boort and Nullawil clash at Boort Park.

The Dale Cameron-coached Boort was outgunned by the Bulls at Birchip last round as Nullawil won at home against Charlton.

Boort’s best against the Bulls were Ryan McGhie, Natnael McLaren and Jarrod Fitzpatrick.

Runner-up in ’23, Nullawil will be just as desperate as Boort to take the points and keep the heat on Wedderburn, Donald and Wycheproof-Narraport.

The Darryl Wilson-coached Nullawil squad includes Jack Exell, Mitch Farmer, Hunter Lawrence and Dean Putt.

A talented athlete, especially at javelin, Dude Kelly was among Nullawil’s best in the win against Charlton.

Reigning premier Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers will be on home turf at Sea Lake to take on St Arnaud.

The Tigers are likely to have too much scoring power for the Saints to stop.

The Bryce Delmenico and Billy McInnes-coached SLN won a hard-fought clash at Donald last round.

Players to watch in the yellow and black include Brodie Adcock, Thomas Cox, Wade Donnan, captain Ryan O’Sullivan and Will Simpson.

Another big challenge for the Scott Driscoll-coached St Arnaud.

The Saints had the bye following a 44-point loss to Donald in the fifth round.

St Arnaud’s team to tackle the Tigers includes Bailey and Harley Durward, Mitch Egan, Jake Hicks, Torin Petrie and Jacob Tillig.

Charlton and Donald clash at Charlton Park.

First-year coach Mitch Collins has played well for Charlton since the move from Kangaroo Flat.

Collins is in the centre for this clash with Mason Heenan and Chris Gavaghan named on the wings.

The Navies will look to Bailey Kemp, Thomas Finlay and Kris Clifford to capitalise on attacks.

Huge task in defence where Patrick Soulsby, Jed Thompson and Sam Woods are up against Trent Grant, Royals’ coach Josh Potter, and Jesse Wallin.

In-form players for Donald include Ryley Barrack and ruckman Andrew Browne.

Wycheproof-Narraport has the bye.

North Central FNL senior footy ladder:

Birchip-Watchem 229 per cent, 24 points; Sea Lake Nandaly 158, 20; Wedderburn 157, 12; Donald 104, 12; Wycheproof-Narraport 88, 12; Nullawil 108, 8; Boort 68, 8; Charlton 42, 0; St Arnaud 40, 0.

Leading goalkickers:

43 Ben Edwards, Birchip-Watchem.

20 Nicholas Rippon, Birchip-Watchem.

18 Tom Campbell, Wedderburn.

18 Josh Jenkins, Sea Lake Nandaly.

17 Mitch Farmer, Nullawil.

16 Jack Exell, Nullawil.

16 Anthony Zelencich, Wedderburn.

14 Trent Grant, Donald.

13 Billy McInnes, Sea Lake Nandaly.

11 Joseph Reid, Birchip-Watchem.