HDFL grand finalist – LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER

HDFL GRAND FINALIST – NORTH BENDIGO

THERE’S a saying that if you bang on the door for long enough, eventually it will open.

Leitchville-Gunbower has been banging on the door of the Heathcote District league premiership for the past two years, but it has remained shut.

Will it open on Saturday when the Bombers return to the grand final to take on their nemesis, North Bendigo?

The Bulldogs have denied the Bombers premierships the past two years, but a third opportunity presents for Leitchville-Gunbower to win its first flag since 1995.

The Bombers haven’t done a lot wrong the past two years, but they haven’t been able to get the job done on grand final day.

Since round one, 2015, the Bombers have a 48-6 record, but two of their six defeats have been grand finals.

There’s another saying about making hay while the sun shines. The Bulldogs have over the past two years, the Bombers haven’t.

Nine of Saturday’s grand final team has felt the disappointment of grand final heartache in the past two years – captain Daniel Couwenberg, Adam Decicco, Daniel Meroli, Hoby Bussey, Jackson McEwen, Lee Pollock, Matt Perri, Steven Pretty and Tim Lincoln, as well as coach Matt Hawken.

Two of those players – Meroli and Pollock – are inclusions into the grand final side after both missed the Bombers’ second semi-final win over North Bendigo.

There’s always hard luck stories around grand finals and unfortunately for forward Jack Dye he will miss the flag battle for the second year in a row through injury after suffering a broken collarbone in the dying minutes of the second semi-final.

Ruckman Michael Pilcher, who has been a driving force, will also be an on-looker following a second semi-final injury.

With Dye, who has kicked 41 goals, out injured the influence of dynamic forward Matt Perri will become more pivotal to the Bombers’ chances.

Perri has booted 118 goals, with only Colbinabbin in round 10 holding him to less than four.

The Bombers will ride a 12-game winning streak into the grand final, which includes twice beating North Bendigo.

Grand final day at Huntly for the Bombers will start with their under-17s gunning for back-to-back flags.