Bloods, Saints split points after match called off early

ELMORE and Heathcote were awarded two points each on Saturday after their round one Heathcote District Football League encounter was abandoned during the second quarter.

Heathcote coach Grant Ford suffered an accidental knock to the head in a contest during the second term.

However, with the game held up for more than 30 minutes waiting for an ambulance to attend to Ford - who plays in a helmet - under the laws of the game, the game was abandoned and declared a draw.

Both teams received two points each, but the score at the time - Heathcote leading 6.4 (40) to 2.1 (13) - is what will be officially recorded.

"I couldn't tell you what happened... apparently I bent down to get the ball and copped one in the head," Ford said on Sunday.

"It was all just a complete accident and I think it was more precautionary because of all the injuries I've had that the ambulance was called to get me to hospital.

"I was checked out in hospital and had no fractures in my neck or the top of my spinal chord... they said it was a bit of concussion and I was sent on my way after four hours. I'm walking around today and feel fine."

Ford - who is likely to miss at least a month following the knock - says he can remember parts of the first term, but can't recall any of his quarter-time address.

Meanwhile, new Elmore coach Stephen Arthur felt the Bloods were beginning to work their way into the match after they had been jumped early by the Saints before the game was called off.

"We didn't start well and our turnovers hurt us, but we were starting to run a bit better and missed a few chances and then it was all over halfway through the second quarter, unfortunately," Arthur said.

• New Mount Pleasant full-forward Matt Gretgrix has made an immediate impact for the Blues.

Gretgrix booted six goals - including one after the final siren - to steer the Blues to a thrilling 14.11 (95) to 13.11 (89) victory over Huntly at Toolleen.

The game looked headed for a draw with the scores level, before Gretgrix marked on an angle in the dying seconds and converted after the siren.

The game was an arm-wrestle all day, with the biggest margin at any of the breaks the 12 points Huntly led by at quarter-time.

"It was a really good contest. Looking back at how we played, it's going to take us a fair while to hit our straps," new Blues coach Derrick Filo said.

"We've got a lot of new blokes learning how each other plays, so while that's happening, it's important you win games like this."

In a sign of the major improvement the Blues look capable of this year, when the two sides last met round 10, last season, Huntly thumped Mount Pleasant by 111 points.

"I thought Huntly's ball movement was a lot better than ours, and I'd say they played better than us, but our guys hung in there really well and we were able to get the win," Filo said.

"We had nine new players in today, so it's going to take a bit of adjusting with our structure... it was ugly at times today, but you've got to be able to win ugly."

As well as Gretgrix's six goals in his Blues' debut, Jarrod Findlay bagged five, with the pair Mount Pleasant's two standouts.

Key defender Chris Black and recruits Carl Thiesz and Tim Hill were also among the Blues' best players.

The after-the-siren loss was a bitter start to the season for the Hawks.

"It was a really hard-fought game that was back and forth all day," Huntly coach Stacy Fiske said.

"We'll take a lot of positives out of it, but the result is obviously very disappointing to get beaten after the siren.

"We had 10 new players in the team, but it was really good to see some of our younger boys stand up... Mac Whittle kicked a couple of goals, Harry Whittle played well and so did Luke Price, so we've got some good kids.

"We copped a few injuries during the game and the boys were out on their feet in the last quarter, but they really fought it out well."

The most serious of the Huntly injuries was to Liam Jukes, who hurt his AC.

The best player for the Hawks was new centre half-back Matthew Jefferies, who had the big job on Mount Pleasant's Kain Robins.

Brady Dickens, Lachie O'Toole (four goals) and Harry Whittle were others in the best for the Hawks.

• Lockington-Bamawm United's flag defence started with a 34-point win at home over Colbinabbin.

The Cats unfurled their 2013 premiership flag and then prevailed 14.11 (95) to 8.13 (61).

The Cats did the bulk of the damage in the first half when they led by 33 points at the main break to set up the win.

"It wasn't pretty... we played some good footy in patches, but we were just happy to get away with a win on the board," new Cats coach Adrian Dohnt said.

Matt Bongiovanni was the best player for the Cats, while Chris Hudson (three goals) was dominant playing at centre half-forward and in the ruck.

Former coach Kahl Oliver, veteran defender Simon Keleher and Trent Bacon were also good for the Cats, who had Lachlan Collins kick four goals.

Among the new players for the Cats was former Hawthorn and North Melbourne AFL player Jonathan Hay, who played at centre half-back.

"He was good for us and is smart with the way he goes about it with his reading of the ball and positioning of his body," Dohnt said.

Colbinabbin's better players were led by the lively Linton Jacobs, ruckman Lochlan Sirrett, the classy Pat O'Brien and Hugh Barlow, while Alex Van Ruiswyk kicked three goals.

"Dohnty has Lockington really well fine-tuned. They hit their targets and our foot disposal was fairly ordinary," Colbinabbin coach Phil Morgan said.

"The first-half, in particular, we were second to the ball, but we played better in the second half, so that's something we'll take out of today."

• In the most one-sided game of the opening round, Leitchville-Gunbower defeated White Hills by 59 points at Leitchville.

After leading by one goal at half-time, the Bombers blew the Demons away to win 18.14 (122) to 9.9 (63) - only their second win over White Hills in nine meetings since joining the HDFL.

"We were able to get a bit of a roll-on in the third quarter and kick a few goals, and they lost a bit of run on the big ground in the second half," Bombers coach Marty Shadbolt said.

"A few of our younger kids with their fitness really stepped up in the second half and it opened up for us."

Young forward Joel Helman snagged five goals to be one of the Bombers' best players, along with Jake Williams (two goals), Shaun Douglass, recruit Bart Walsh and Jye Keath.

White Hills had good players in Jake Allport (three goals) and four recruits in Brad Wright, Jake Ward, Anthony Symes and Sam Kerr.

"We played a good second quarter to get ourselves into the game, but in the last quarter we ran out of legs on a big ground and hot day," Demons coach Shaun Makepeace said.

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