Lockington-Bamawm and Heathcote renew finals rivalry

LOCKINGTON-Bamawm United and Heathcote will renew their Heathcote District Football League finals rivalry tomorrow in the second semi-final at Toolleen.

The Cats and Saints have met in the past two grand finals, and one of the two will be through to another premiership decider in a fortnight by 5pm tomorrow night.

The Cats – who finished on top of the ladder and are Sportsbet’s $1.75 flag favourites – enter their first final playing their best footy of the season.

Since their scratchy mid-season patch when they lost three of their five games between rounds seven and 12, the Cats have strung together six wins in a row by an average of 72 points.

Among those wins was an 81-point flogging of Heathcote two weeks ago – the Saints’ biggest loss since 2005.

With a full list to pick from, which includes the return of coach Kahl Oliver for the first time since round 12, the Cats are well-placed for a tilt at back-to-back flags.

The Cats have been the best defensive side, conceding an average of just 51 points per game, while in attack, they spread the load well, with Chris Hudson (30) the only player to have kicked more than 25 goals.

Heathcote, which regains X-factor forward Brent Jacques from suspension, but is still missing injured full-back Brenton Conforti, last week proved too good for Colbinabbin in the qualifying final, winning by 55 points.

The Saints’ gun on-ball brigade headed by captain and Cheatley Medal fancy Joel Condon, Marc Millard, Lochie Dornauf and Patrick Ring were outstanding during Heathcote’s match-winning third term when it blew the game open.

Should be a cracking contest between two finals-hardened teams.

COACHES COMMENTS:

Kahl Oliver (LBU) – “We’ve been playing some good footy over the past few weeks and have a full list of guys to pick from in our seniors and reserves, so we can’t be in a better place at the moment and we’re looking forward to another finals campaign.”

Brent Chapman (Heathcote) – “We’ve put behind us our last game against Lockington a couple of weeks ago and look at that as a bit of a mishap. 

“It was obviously a fair hiding we got from them a couple of weeks ago, but we know we’re better than what we showed that day.”

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