Bombers win after siren

CRUCIAL VICTORY: Leitchville-Gunbower's Jye Keath gets a handball away against White Hills in their thriller on Saturday. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN
CRUCIAL VICTORY: Leitchville-Gunbower's Jye Keath gets a handball away against White Hills in their thriller on Saturday. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

LEITCHVILLE-Gunbower maintained its position in the Heathcote District Football League top three after defeating White Hills by five points with a kick after the siren on Saturday.

Ruckman Lee Pollock marked and drilled a long-range set-shot after the siren to hand the Bombers a 12.20 (92) to 13.9 (87) victory - their first over White Hills at Tint-a-Car Oval.

The scoreboard when Pollock took his kick showed the scores were level, meaning the Bombers thought any score would be enough to win the game.

However, the Demons were in front by one point and Pollock needed to kick the goal for the Bombers to win.

Had the Bombers not won the game, they would have only had themselves to blame as they squandered chances to put the Demons away.

The Bombers had 10 more scoring shots than the Demons, and were particularly inaccurate in the first half when they kicked 4.11.

"We had a lot of the ball and plenty of chances, but just couldn't put the goals on the board," Bombers coach Marty Shadbolt said.

"We were in a bit of strife in that last quarter when they got about 10 points up, but we fought it out and luckily, Lee was able to kick that goal after the siren for us.

"Lee had rucked most of the day and had to kick it from 40m out on a 45 degree angle, so it was a tough kick, but he was able to slot it."

The five-point margin at the final siren was the biggest that separated the two sides - who had both gone into the game with 5-3 records - at any of the breaks after the Demons had earlier led by four points at quarter-time and the Bombers were one point up at half-time and four points in front at three quarter-time.

As well as kicking the match-winning goal, Pollock was also named best for the Bombers.

Brad Perry (two goals), Russell Lee (three goals) and Steve Pretty were other players among the best for the Bombers, who lost Jake Williams to a hamstring injury during the second term.

Forward/ruckman Matt Sawyer kicked four goals to be the best for the Demons, who had their three-game winning streak ended.

Defenders Jason Curtain and Brad Wright and midfielder Jake Heavyside were also impressive for the Demons, while full-forward Ricky Symes was the leading goalkicker on the ground with five.

"It was obviously disappointing to lose after the siren, but we were probably lucky to still be in the game towards the end," Demons coach Shaun Makepeace said.

• Just 11 goals were kicked for the game in Lockington-Bamawm United's grinding six-point win over Colbinabbin at M.J. Morgan Oval.

The Cats slugged their way to a 6.6 (42) to 5.6 (36) victory over the Grasshoppers.

It wasn't pretty, but it was a return to the winners list for the Cats, who had lost two of their previous three games.

The game in the muddy conditions following heavy rain late in the week brought back memories for the Cats of their 2010 grand final loss to Heathcote, which was also played in similar conditions at Colbinabbin.

"The ground had been destroyed and the conditions were just disgusting... there were times when you didn't know who was who and you were tackling your own team-mates," Cats coach Adrian Dohnt said.

"It was just a grind all day. There was ball-up after ball-up, but we were able to get ourselves in front in that last quarter and hang on."

Colbinabbin had entered the last quarter five points in front, but the Cats added 2.1 to 0.2 secure the win, with their score of 6.6 (42) the HDFL's lowest winning score since North Bendigo kicked 5.9 (39) to beat White Hills by 20 points in the 2010 elimination final.

Chris Hudson, who started at centre half-forward before moving into the ruck, was the best for the Cats as his consistent season continued.

John Halloran, Dohnt (two goals) and Nathan Bacon were also strong performers in the gritty win.

For Colbinabbin, which had a three-game winning streak ended, Tim O'Dwyer's red-hot patch of form continued as he was the Grasshoppers' best player.

Hadleigh Sirett (two goals), Stephen Tuohey and Hugh Barlow also battled hard for the Grasshoppers, who had trailed by 13 points at half-time.

"It was just a slugfest today and a great effort from both sides," Colbinabbin coach Phil Morgan said.

"Both sides had a red-hot crack all day, but they were able to find a way to win, so full credit to them.

"It would have been great for us to win one of those really hard-fought tight games, but we'll keep working away at it."

• Heathcote won the battle of the HDFL's two winless teams, defeating Elmore by 19 points to notch its first victory of the season.

The Saints were jumped at home by the Bloods and trailed by 22 points at quarter-time.

But Heathcote kicked 14 goals to eight after quarter-time, including four to two in the last term when the game was up for grabs, to win 16.10 (106) to 13.9 (87).

"Hopefully, a win today will get a bit of belief back into the group after winning with six of our top players out," Heathcote coach Grant Ford said.

"Both teams were desperate for the win and we had blokes who were out there hobbling around.

"But we were able to fight it out right until the end and get the result.

"We've kept positive all year and still believe that if we can get our best 22 out on the park, we can match it with anyone. It was just good to get some reward for the boys today."

Wingman Darcy McLean (two goals), Kyle Seidel and in-form big man Daniel Russell led the better players for the Saints in what was their first win since beating Leitchville-Gunbower in last year's elimination final.

Bradley Morgan (four) and usual defender Luke Bell (three) combined for seven goals for the Saints.

Elmore coach Stephen Arthur was left to rue a missed opportunity for his Bloods, who now face a challenge to avoid a winless season for the first time since 2001.

"We played very well in the first quarter, but just couldn't reproduce it for the last three quarters," Arthur said.

"We built it up as a bit of a grand final for us, but now we've got to try to target another game and just continue to work hard... we're obviously very disappointed with today."

Midfielder Phillip Wills was again the best player for the Bloods, along with Wade Bonham, Jeff McMurtrie (two goals) and Jack Hayes.

Luke Clark and James Harney kicked four goals each.

• In the only game of round 10 decided by more than 20 points, Mount Pleasant put another nail in the coffin of Huntly's finals aspirations with a 37-point victory at Hy-Line Australia Oval.

With both sides coming off hidings the previous week, the Blues led at every change to win 11.7 (73) to 5.6 (36) and improve to 6-3.

"It was an ugly day for footy today and the type of day when you can easily drop a game, but we were fairly solid for the four quarters, which was pleasing," Blues coach Derrick Filo said.

"We were terrible last week (against North Bendigo), so it was important we turned it around today and the boys had a real crack all day."

Luke Milroy was outstanding in the tough conditions to kick five goals for the Blues, who were also well served by young onballer Koe Ngawati, consistent defender Tim Hill and Nathan Whipp.

The loss was Huntly's third in a row and keeps last year's grand finalist two games outside the top five.

"Mounts adapted to the conditions early and took their opportunities going forward, but I couldn't fault the endeavour of the boys today," Huntly coach Stacy Fiske said.

"We are working well in key areas of contested football and tackling, but our ability to shut down opposition uncontested possession from turnovers is killing us."

Harry Whittle, Fiske and Josh Harris played well for the Hawks, who now confront top side North Bendigo.


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