LOCKINGTON-Bamawm United and Colbinabbin were the big winners of round 15 in the Heathcote District Football League.
LBU’s thrilling six-point win over Mount Pleasant put the Cats in the box seat to sew up a double chance for the finals, while Colbo’s six-goal win over White Hills kept the Grasshoppers’ top five hopes alive.
At Toolleen, LBU withstood a late Mount Pleasant charge to win, 14.16 (100) to 14.10 (94).
A Mount Pleasant goal inside the final minute gave the home side a sniff of an upset win, but the Cats stood firm to record their 11th win of the season.
It was the Cats’ second thrilling win against a top five opponent in as many weeks.
“The game was on the line at three quarter-time and our experienced players really stood up for us in the last quarter,’’ LBU coach Adrian Dohnt said.
“Mount Pleasant threw everything at us, particularly in the second half, so for the boys to get the win was a great result.”
Former North Melbourne and Hawthorn star Jon Hay was the hero for the Cats.
Hay was best on ground, kicking five goals from centre half-forward in his best performance of the season.
“Jon was fantastic for us all day,’’ Dohnt said.
“We had to swing him back to centre half-back in the last quarter on (Kain) Robins because he was basically marking everything that went his way.
“Jon did a good job on Robins in the final quarter.”
Lachlan Collins added four goals for the Cats, while Karl Oliver, in his first game back from injury added two goals.
Midfielders John Halloran and Matthew Bongiovanni won plenty of the ball and ruckman Chris Hudson also played well for the Cats.
Robins was once again outstanding for Mounts at centre half-forward.
Full-forward Matt Gretgrix kicked five goals, while Matthew Filo and Tim Hill were also among the Blues’ best.
“It was a great game, but the result didn’t go our way,’’ Mounts coach Derrick Filo said.
“Lockington probably used the ball a bit better than we did and that was the difference in the end.
“We’re disappointed because we had our chances.”
Sixth-placed Colbinabbin moved level on points with fifth-placed White Hills after defeating the Demons for the second time this season.
The Grasshoppers had to win the game to keep their finals hopes alive and they didn’t let their supporters down, winning 14.13 (97) to 9.8 (62).
“Our pulse is still going,’’ Colbinabbin coach Toot Morgan said.
“With everything on the line it was great to see the boys play like that.”
Veteran Linton Jacobs sparked the Grasshoppers, kicking four goals in the second quarter on his way to a six-goal haul for the match.
Jacobs’ second-term heroics set up a seven-goal to two quarter and a 32-point lead at the main break.
“Our second quarter was really good footy,’’ Morgan said.
“Just as important was we didn’t drop off when White Hills came at us in the third quarter.
“At times this year we’ve dropped off for 10 minutes in games and it’s cost us, but this time we stuck at it.”
Wingmen Steve Tuohey and Will Morrow gave Colbo plenty of drive, Leroy Miller took plenty of marks and Matt Riordan limited Jake Ward’s influence on the game.
The Demons didn’t get enough drive out of their midfield group.
Defender Sam Kerr and ruckman Matt Lehane were the Demons’ best, while Ricky Symes kicked four of their nine goals.
The result left White Hills 3.81 per cent in front of Colbo with three rounds remaining.
White Hills plays Heathcote, Elmore and LBU, while the Grasshoppers have the bye before tackling Heathcote and Elmore.
Fifth spot is likely to come down to percentage.
“All we have to focus on is winning our two games,’’ Morgan said.
“We can’t be concerned about winning margins.”
Ladder leader North Bendigo flexed its muscle with a 169-point win over Elmore.
There was just five points between the two clubs at quarter time, but the final three quarters were one-way traffic with the Bulldogs adding 26.13 to 0.5 to win 31.17 (203) to 4.10 (34).
Tyson Findlay kicked a career-best eight goals for North Bendigo, while Damien Webb kicked six to give him 16 goals in his past two games.
Jeremy Mills kicked three goals in a best on ground performance for North Bendigo.
Jack Hayes, Dean Holyman, Jackson Vredenburg and Ryan Hayes were best for Elmore.
North Bendigo plays LBU next week in what many HDFL followers expect to be a grand final preview.
Huntly snapped a six-game losing streak, with a 75-point win over Heathcote.
A six-goal to two first quarter laid the foundation for the Hawks’ 18.14 (122) to 6.11 (47) win.
Jack Threlfall and Alex Demeo kicked eight goals between them for the Hawks, while Matt Jeffries and Harry Whittle were instrumental in the win.
Daniel Carroll, Daniel Russell, Jack Paisley and Nick Malavisi battled hard for the Saints.