Huntly on the board with first win of HDFNL season against LBU

HIGH-FLYER: North Bendigo's Rhys Ford soars for a mark in his first game for the Bulldogs against White Hills on Saturday. Picture: ADAM BOURKE
HIGH-FLYER: North Bendigo's Rhys Ford soars for a mark in his first game for the Bulldogs against White Hills on Saturday. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

HUNTLY has taken the first step towards igniting its Heathcote District season by defeating Lockington-Bamawm United on Saturday.

The Hawks bounced back from a 0-2 start to 2017 by defeating the Cats by 47 points, 20.13 (133) to 13.8 (86), at Lockington.

Huntly won all four quarters in a performance co-coach Ryan Semmel said improved as the game wore on.

“We weren’t where we wanted to be in the first half, but in the second half we were able to open the game up and play the style of footy we wanted to,” Semmel said.

“It was good to get some fluent movement and the scoreboard spoke for itself.”

Semmel led the way for the Hawks, kicking four goals in his midfield/forward role and being named their best player.

The Hawks also had Chris Gleeson kick four goals and Jaydon Cowling, who was named second best and took a mark-of-the-year contender, and recruit Rhett Sutton slot three each.

The Cats – who are still winless – had 11 goalkickers among their tally of 13.

For the second week in a row ruckman Liam Main was named the Cats’ best, who also had rebounding half-back Xavier Kelly and midfielder Callum Buchanan (two goals) work hard.

“It was disappointing to go down by the margin we did, but it was probably our first four-quarter effort of the year,” Cats coach Peter Gibbs said.

“We were in the game for a long period, but the big positive we’ll take out of today is we ran it out well, which was a big focus because we hadn’t been able to do that in our other games.”

• Leitchville-Gunbower had its kicking boots on as it notched a second triple-figure victory in a row – this time against Elmore.

From 36 scoring shots the Bombers kicked 27.9 (171) to 5.8 (38) in their 133-point belting at Leitchville

The Bombers’ accurate kicking followed their 26.12 against Mount Pleasant the previous week, giving them a combined 53.21 the past two weeks at a conversion rate of 71.6 per cent.

By quarter-time the Bombers had already kicked a score more than the Bloods would for the game as they had 7.1 on the board.

The Bombers again spread their goals around with 13 players hitting the scoreboard on the back of 14 last week.

Matt Perri took his season tally to 22 with a haul of seven – the bulk of which came in the second half – while Tom Brereton on debut, Logan Prout, Daniel Couwenberg and Ryan Prendergast all booted three.

“We had a lot of kids in the side, one of which was Tommy Brereton who debuted on his 18th birthday and had a ripper of a game,” Bombers coach Matt Hawken said.

“He was one of under-17 premiership players of last year and had a really good day.

“We also had Lachie Duncan, Hugh McGillivray and Kyle Rowlands, who are all under 10 games, in the team and all played really well.”

ON THE BURST: Jaran McKay sends North Bendigo forward during the Bulldogs' 59-point victory over White Hills in round four. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

ON THE BURST: Jaran McKay sends North Bendigo forward during the Bulldogs' 59-point victory over White Hills in round four. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

The Bombers lost ruckman Michael Pilcher with a knock to the knee and Joel Donehue (hamstring) during the game.

On-ballers Matthew Pollock and Matthew Ladson led the best players for the Bombers, who for the sixth time in their past nine games against Elmore won by more than 100 points.

“They were very well-drilled, very quick and play their ground very well,” Elmore coach Danny Brewster said.

“The score probably doesn’t reflect the game… I felt we competed well and were very physical, but they had a bit more polish than us and more of an even spread across their 22.”

Nathan Brewster at centre half-back was the standout for the Bloods, while James Harney kicked four of their five goals.

• North Bendigo powered away late from White Hills to record a 59-point victory and move back to the top of the ladder.

The Demons were within striking distance at three quarter-time when they trailed by 20 points after outscoring the Bulldogs four goals to one during the third term.

However, the Bulldogs put the foot down with seven goals to one in the final term to ease away to a 17.22 (124) to 9.11 (65) win at White Hills.

“We probably only played a 30-minute period of footy in the first three quarters that we were happy with,” Bulldogs coach Rob Bennett said.

“At three quarter-time I asked the players for a full 30-minute effort and to finish with a good quarter of footy, which they did.”

The Bulldogs – who have a percentage of 431.9 – were forced to bring in Storm Giri, who had played in the reserves, at the last-minute after Daniel Morris injured his quad in the warm-up.

Recruit Nick Waterson was named the best for the Bulldogs with a swag of possessions through the midfield, while Ash Craig off half-back and Will Gunter, who held Demons’ key forward Shaun Christopher to two goals, also impressed.

In his first game for the Bulldogs after overcoming an ankle injury, Rhys Ford kicked three goals.

For the second game in a row Ryley Dickens was best for the Demons, who after trailing by 36 points at half-time closed to within 14 during the third term.

New Ruckman Lachlan Sidebottom and defender Jason Curtain were others to play well for the Demons in their first loss of the season.

• Colbinabbin won its third game in a row, defeating Heathcote by 78 points.

The Grasshoppers prevailed 18.10 (118) to 6.4 (40) at Colbinabbin to improve to 3-1.

“We’ve still got a lot of improvement in us in trying to gel with the team footy we want to play, but we were lass patchy today and were able to hit the scoreboard a little easier,” Colbinabbin coach Nick Knight said.

Knight (five) and Ryan Hon (four) combined for nine goals for the Grasshoppers, whose score included an accurate 9.2 in the second half.

Among the highlights for the Grasshoppers was a superb goal on the boundary from Hadleigh Sirett that was duly celebrated with a “double cobra”.

Knight, hard-working onballer Sam Vale (two goals) and David Price in defence led the better players for the Grasshoppers in their eighth win in a row over Heathcote.

Ryan Hon kicked four goals for Colbinabbin against Heathcote.

Ryan Hon kicked four goals for Colbinabbin against Heathcote.

The Saints fought the game right out, kicking three of their six goals in the final term.

“It was a bit of a reality check for us after last week (win over LBU),” Saints coach Luke Bell said.

“Colbo was very well structured and fit… our effort was there, but it showed our execution and fitness probably isn’t at the minute.

“On today’s result, we’ve got to keep striving to get ourselves fitter and just better in general.”

Consistent onballer Jake Condon through the midfield and centre half-back Brayden Klemke, who had the job on Colbinabbin’s Damien Carmody (two goals), were named the best two players for Heathcote.

Colbinabbin's Darcy Booth against Heathcote on Saturday.

Colbinabbin's Darcy Booth against Heathcote on Saturday.