LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER v LBU - 2.15pm Saturday at Elmore.
Since 2010: LBU 10; Leitchville-Gunbower 1.
Last final: 2014 qualifying final - Leitchville-Gunbower 16.17 (113) d LBU 15.17 (107) in extra time.
Round 5: LBU 12.4 (76) d Leitchville-Gunbower 8.9 (57).
Round 14: LBU 9.10 (64) d Leitchville-Gunbower 8.11 (59).
Qualifying final: Leitchville-Gunbower 16.17 (113) d LBU 15.17 (107) in extra time.
TWO weeks after playing an epic extra-time thriller, Leitchville-Gunbower and Lockington-Bamawm United face off again in the Heathcote District Football League finals.
The Bombers and Cats meet in the preliminary final at Elmore on Saturday, with a shot at premiership glory against North Bendigo next week the prize for the winner.
And if it’s anything like their qualifying final encounter at Toolleen a fortnight ago, it will be a belter.
That day the Bombers stormed home, kicking the last four goals of the game in the dying stages to level the match at the final siren, before winning by six points in extra-time.
“The boys will use that loss against Leitchville a couple of weeks ago as motivation for this week,” Cats coach Adrian Dohnt said.
“The boys were all fairly dirty on how it ended that day and will be determined to not let it happen again.”
The Cats - who have won the past three premierships - bounced back last week from the qualifying final loss with a 33-point victory over Mount Pleasant in the first semi-final in a game that had been up for grabs at half-time.
“The boys took a lot of confidence out of last week and are in a good frame of mind,” Dohnt said.
Last week’s win in which Matt Bongiovanni and Marcus Angove were the Cats’ best was soured by a groin injury to key forward Kahl Oliver, but Dohnt said there was a chance he could be available for the grand final if the Cats progress.
The Bombers - chasing not only their first flag in the HDFL, but their first since 1995 - were beaten by North Bendigo by 22 points in last week’s second semi-final in what was a game where they paid the price for a third quarter lapse.
“There’s a lot on the line for both sides and we’ll be expecting another tight contest like last time,” Bombers coach Marty Shadbolt said.
“We’ve played some good footy over the past couple of weeks, but we’ve had those 10-15 minute lapses in both games.
“If we’re going to win on the weekend, we need to cut those lapses out of our game.”
Steve Pretty, Joel Helman and Russell Lee have been among the best players for the Bombers in both their finals.
“It’s going to be a warm day, so hopefully, our younger legs can get a run-on late in the game,” Shadbolt said.
The Bombers also have their reserves and under-17 sides in preliminary finals.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Won: 11. Lost: 7.
Average for: 101.2. Against: 76.4.
Quarters won: 44/72.
Won: 14. Lost: 4.
Average for: 96.3. Against: 63.2.
Quarters won: 46/72.