IT’S said that bad kicking is bad footy and it summed up Colbinabbin on Saturday as it paid a hefty price against Huntly in the Heathcote District league.
The Hawks weren’t great in front of goal either, but not as bad as Colbinabbin, which was unable to shrug off the tag as Huntly being its bogey side.
Huntly squared its season ledger at 2-2 with a second win in a row as it defeated the Grasshoppers 12.13 (85) to 10.19 (79) at home in the closest game of the season so far.
The Grasshoppers had led at each break, but weren’t in front when it counted as the Hawks kicked three goals to one in the last quarter to beat Colbinabbin for the seventh time in their past nine meetings.
“It was a really pivotal game for us after dropping a couple of early games and we really needed to get the win,” Huntly co-coach Jamie Hogan said.
“It was a tight tussle all day and we had to work hard to get over the line.”
The Hawks were strengthened by the return of Josh Harris, who Hogan describes as their “spiritual leader”, and Luke Semmel.
Captain Stacy Fiske played a super game off half-back, while ruckman Rhett Sutton, Jaydon Cowling in the midfield and Steve Kairn, who kept Ryan Hon to one goal, also played well for the Hawks.
Colbianbbin’s poor conversion was at its worst in the second quarter when it kicked 1.9, while the Grasshoppers also kicked 1.4 in the last term when the game was up for grabs.
“Due respect to Huntly, but we lost that game ourselves… simple as that,” Grasshoppers coach Nick Knight said.
“We kicked poorly at goal and took our foot off the pedal in the last quarter.
“Our ball movement inside 50, especially on a big ground like Huntly, was just too wide, which resulted in a lot of shots on goal from the boundary, and we didn’t take our opportunities when we had some easier ones.”
Cameron Hall (two goals) across half-forward with his smart ball-use, Seb Nixon, who had the job on Hawks’ co-coach Ryan Semmel through the midfield, and ruckman Mitch McEvoy were good for Colbinabbin.
• After a tight tussle in which no more than one point separated the two teams at any of the first three breaks, Mount Pleasant kicked away from Elmore.
The Blues kicked six goals to two in the last quarter to win their second game with the 14.10 (94) to 10.13 (73) victory at Elmore.
There was a look to the future in the Mount Pleasant side as the Blues featured four players on debut – Sam Welch (two goals), Sam Carracher, Jordan Allen and Daniel Whiting.
“It was a fantastic result for the club and one of those games that was tight at three quarter-time that we probably would have dropped in previous years,” Blues coach Matt Johnson said.
“But it was pleasing that the belief was there and we were able to run over the top of a side and it gives us confidence that if we work together we can have success.”
On a sour note for the Blues they lost Carl Thiesz with a knee injury.
The Blues had good players in Ben Welch, who carried a big load in the ruck, Adam Richardson and Nick Edwards. Key forward Ryan Herring kicked three goals.
In what was Elmore’s third loss in a row, Nick Page, Wade Cotchin and James Harney (four goals) were its best players.
The Bloods now have a 21-day break with the inter-league bye followed by their club bye.
• The North Bendigo juggernaut continued on with the Bulldogs winning by more than 100 points for the third time in their four games so far.
This time it was against Lockington Bamawm United by 117 points, 25.20 (170) to 8.5 (53), at North Bendigo in what was the Bulldogs’ fifth triple-figure victory in a row against the Cats.
The star forward trio of Brady Herdman (seven), Sam Barnes (five) and Rhys Ford (five) combined for 17 goals for the Bulldogs.
Herdman, skipper Jordan Ford and ruckman Brett Strange led the best players for the rampaging Bulldogs, who are averaging 171 points and 49 scoring shots across their first four games.
The Cats competed well in the first half, kicking seven goals and being within 24 points at the main break.
But the floodgates opened after half-time as the Bulldogs piled on 15 goals to one.
“We went in knowing they were the benchmark side and I thought we were very good for the first half,” Cats coach Peter Gibbs said.
“But after half-time we lost our structure and our pressure dropped off and we had trouble entering our forward 50.
“We’ll take a bit out of the fact though that we had a lot of young kids playing on some exceptional players.”
Ruckman Liam Main was again the Cats’ best player for the third game in a row, while Jakson Gibbs in defence and Marcus Crook also battled hard.
• Leitchville-Gunbower remained unbeaten with a 69-point victory over Heathcote.
The Bombers prevailed 16.14 (110) to 5.11 (41) at Heathcote, with midfielder Jackson McEwen continuing his impressive season to be their best player.
Defender Daniel Meroli and Logan Prout also played well for the Bombers, who had Ayden Walton and Matt Perri kick four goals each.
The Bombers played without injured ruckman Michael Pilcher (knee), but they have had some positive news in terms of the extent of his injury.
“He won’t be too far away… there was no structural damage done, so he might miss one or two more before it all settles back down again,” coach Matt Hawken said.
While the final margin was 69 points, it was a much more competitive effort by the Saints than their previous three encounters against the Bombers when they had been beaten by margins of 125, 130 and 115 points.
The Saints had their fair share of play in the third quarter, but couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard when they kicked 2.6.
“We could have ended up a bit closer to them had we taken a few more chances in the third quarter,” Heathcote coach Luke Bell said.
“It would have been easy for our boys to drop their heads and Leitchville run away with a really big win, but I thought we hung pretty tough.
“While you’re never going to be happy with a loss by that much, the effort was there by the boys today.”
Brayden Klemke again impressed in defence for the Saints after being moved onto Perri in the second term.
Daniel Carroll and Dylan McCutcheon were others to play well for the 1-4 Saints.