Matt Perri reaches century of goals for Leitchville-Gunbower in HDFNL

DOMINANT: The red-hot Leitchville-Gunbower thrashed a disappointing White Hills by 126 points in the Heathcote District league on Saturday. Picture: ADAM BOURKE
DOMINANT: The red-hot Leitchville-Gunbower thrashed a disappointing White Hills by 126 points in the Heathcote District league on Saturday. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

MATT Perri has become the first Leitchville-Gunbower player to kick a century of goals since the merged club was formed in 1995.

Starting Saturday’s match against White Hills on 93, Perri kicked the seven he needed to reach the ton during the last quarter, before finishing the game with eight in the Bombers’ 126-point belting of the Demons, 23.24 (162) to 5.6 (36).

However, Perri’s 100th goal didn’t come easy.

While on 99 goals, Perri had a snap that was touched on the line; a set-shot that hit the post; a mark that was deemed over the goal-line; before finally kicking his 100th – but only after the umpires conferred that it was on target, adding to the drama.

“It’s a fantastic effort to kick 100 goals… it’s not something you see that often these days,” Bombers coach Matt Hawken said.

“He’s had a remarkable season for us.”

Perri has hit the scoreboard in all 15 of the Bombers’ games this season, kicking 5, 10, 7, 4, 6, 4, 9, 7, 3, 12, 4, 13, 4, 5 and 8 goals.

It was another clinical performance by the 14-1 Bombers, who won by more than 100 points for the seventh time this season.

“White Hills had an eight-man defence for a fair portion of the game and I thought we were able to counter-attack really well,” Hawken said.

“Our defence was terrific today… Luke Sevior came in and played well, Mitch Bruns had a cracker, Ryan Prendergast and Hoby Bussey were both good, so we’re really happy with the day.”

The Bombers’ best player was captain Daniel Counwenberg.

“He led from the front all day, kicked three goals and played a terrific game. But the really pleasing part was we had a lot of contributors,” Hawken said. 

SPECIAL DAY: Leitchville-Gunbower's Matt Perri kicked eight goals against White Hills on Saturday to take his season tally to 101. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

SPECIAL DAY: Leitchville-Gunbower's Matt Perri kicked eight goals against White Hills on Saturday to take his season tally to 101. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

The loss was the Demons’ fifth in a row, with coach Brent Millar labeling the Bombers the best side they have come up against.

“They were absolutely clinical in everything they did. They had intent from the outset, were brutal at the stoppages and we just couldn’t match them,” Millar said.

“They are by far the best team we have played against this year. There were tricky conditions today, but they made it look like they were playing with a dry footy.”

Eddie Dickins and Ryley Dickens were the best for the outclassed Demons, who didn’t score in the third quarter.

In a further blow for the Demons, they lost Kris Bedford to a season-ending hamstring injury.

• Colbinabbin will go into next weekend’s round 18 bye knowing it has the double chance locked away after securing third position with an 83-point win over Lockington-Bamawm United.

In what was the closest game of a round of blowouts, the Grasshoppers held the Cats to one goal in the first half en route to a 16.18 (114) to 4.7 (31) win at home.

“Our aim at the start of the year was to finish in the top three and it’s something we’ve worked hard for, so it’s pleasing to be in this position leading into the bye next week and finals starting the week after,” Colbinabbin coach Nick Knight said.

“They were really heavy conditions today and I thought we adapted well to the style of play we needed to right from the start.”

The Grasshoppers had their biggest spread of goalkickers for the season with 12, led by Damien Carmody, who kicked three and presented strongly all game, while Darcy Booth revelled in the conditions with his in-and-under work.

The Cats were best served by Meyrick Buchanan, who continued his impressive midfield season, and ruckman Liam Main.

• Huntly’s Harry Whittle showed why he’s one of the most dynamic players in the competition, bagging 10 goals in the Hawks’ 123-point win over Elmore.

The Hawks cruised to a 27.16 (178) to 8.7 (55) triumph at home in a game where they were already 82 points up at half-time.

“Harry was unreal today. He started the season with a bit of injury and now he’s really hitting his form,” Huntly co-coach Ryan Semmel said.

Whittle’s 10 goals came on the back of kicking eight the previous week against Mount Pleasant.

He was among 10 goalkickers for the Hawks, who also had Jack Daley in his second game back from injury and Ross Culvenor on a wing among their best.

Elmore kicked five of its eight goals during the third quarter, in which it outscored the Hawks 5.3 to 4.4.

Luke Price (two goals) and Travis Mills were best for the Bloods, who had James Harney kick three goals.

• North Bendigo booted its third score above 200 for the season and all but locked up top spot on the ladder with a 180-point demolition of Mount Pleasant at home.

The ruthless Bulldogs won 30.24 (204) to 3.6 (24), with returning key forwards Sam Barnes (eight) and Brady Herdman (seven) combining for 15 goals.

North Bendigo held the Blues scoreless in both the second and final quarters.

“Having Brady, Barnesy and Jordan Ford back today, it gave us our structures again up forward. And our midfield after being questioned last week responded really well,” Bulldogs’ coach Rob Bennett said.

Among the standouts for the Bulldogs were Aarryn Craig (two goals), Sean Morris and Ryan Alford (four goals), who played their best games of the season.

Adam Richardson was again named best for the third game in a row for the Blues, who now look set to claim the wooden spoon.

• Saturday’s round where the average margin was 128 points was the most one-sided in the Heathcote District league for a decade.

The last time a round had a bigger average margin across the four games was 136 points in round 18, 2007, when Heathcote thrashed Huntly by 245, Elmore defeated LBU by 132, Broadford beat White Hills by 107 and Colbinabbin rolled Mount Pleasant by 60.