Preview of round nine in the Heathcote District Football League on Saturday.
HUNTLY V LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER - 2.15pm Saturday at Hy-Line Australia Oval.
Last time: Round 13, 2013: Huntly 13.12 (90) d Leitchville-Gunbower 5.11 (41).
Since 2010: Leitchville-Gunbower 5; Huntly 3.
HUNTLY - slipped a game outside the top five with last week’s 22-point loss to Lockington-Bamawm United.
Massive home game for the Hawks against Leitchville-Gunbower.
Win and the Hawks join the fifth-placed Bombers on four wins. But lose and they run the risk of dropping two games outside the five.
LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER - is this the same team that won its first four games by an average of 75 points?
The Bombers have now tumbled from top to fifth on the back of three losses in a row, including by 76 points to North Bendigo last Saturday.
Lack of team-work and basic skill errors highlighted by coach Marty Shadbolt.
COLBINABBIN V ELMORE - 2.15pm Saturday at M.J. Morgan Oval.
Last time: Round 13, 2013: Colbinabbin 11.11 (77) d Elmore 6.11 (47).
Since 1995: Colbinabbin 25; Elmore 16.
COLBINABBIN - the Grasshoppers were under the pump after five rounds when they sat seventh with just one win.
But if they beat bottom side Elmore at home on Saturday the Grasshoppers will square up at 4-4 at the halfway mark.
Ruckman Lochlan Sirett been in the best every game and snagged six goals last week.
ELMORE - the Bloods copped the biggest hiding of the season last week in losing to White Hills by 135 points at home.
The Bloods score well enough for a winless bottom side - they’ve averaged 11 goals their past five games.
But they continue to bleed at the defensive end, having conceded 20-plus goals in five of their seven matches.
NORTH BENDIGO V MOUNT PLEASANT - 2.15pm Saturday at Superior Roofing Oval.
Last time: Round 11, 2013: North Bendigo 15.12 (102) d Mount Pleasant 13.8 (86).
Since 1996: Mount Pleasant 23; North Bendigo 17.
NORTH BENDIGO - continue to play a well-balanced brand of football and have now won five on the trot, including the past two against top-five sides LBU and Leitchville-Gunbower.
Now meet another of the top sides in Mount Pleasant.
Midfielder Tyson Findlay has been in ripping form for the Bulldogs, having been named their best the past three games.
MOUNT PLEASANT - plenty of time for the Blues to prepare for this crucial clash, having had back-to-back weeks off.
Last played on May 17 when they defeated Leitchville-Gunbower by 24 points.
Star recruit Kain Robins is beginning to make his mark on the HDFL. Robins has been the Blues’ best player three times in their past five games.
WHITE HILLS V LOCKINGTON-BAMAWM UNITED - 2.15pm Saturday at Tint-a-Car Oval.
Last time: Round 16, 2013: LBU 21.18 (144) d White Hills 5.0 (30).
Since 2001: LBU 20; White Hills 9.
WHITE HILLS - back-to-back wins by more than 100 points against Heathcote and Elmore, during which the Demons have kicked 55 goals to 14.
But Saturday’s home game against top side LBU will show just how just serious a contender the Demons can be this year.
Hayden Wright played two top games since returning.
LBU - every week seems to be a big game for the Cats, and this is no different coming up against the red-hot Demons, who they have beaten 13 times in a row.
The Cats need to improve their first-quarter conversion.
In their past two games against Huntly and North Bendigo, they’ve kicked a combined 1.16 in first quarters.