Day of records for Bombers

GOING NOWHERE: North Bendigo's Tyson Findlay wraps up Colbinabbin's Jeremy Morgan at Superior Roofing Oval on Saturday. Picture: LIZ FLEMING

GOING NOWHERE: North Bendigo's Tyson Findlay wraps up Colbinabbin's Jeremy Morgan at Superior Roofing Oval on Saturday. Picture: LIZ FLEMING

LEITCHVILLE-Gunbower powered to the biggest win of the Heathcote District Football League season on Saturday with a 180-point demolition of Elmore.

It was a day of club records in the HDFL for the brutal Bombers at Gunbower.

The 33.17 (215) to 5.5 (35) result was the Bombers' highest score since joining the HDFL in 2010 and their biggest winning margin.

Ryan Hocking's bag of 12 goals was the most in the HDFL by a Bombers' player, while the club has now won five games in a row for the first time since it left the Central Murray Football League.

"We certainly didn't expect to win by that much today. All we were focused on was playing a good brand of footy over four quarters to give us a good lead-in going into next week's game against Lockington," Bombers coach Marty Shadbolt said.

"We were solid all day, so that was pleasing."

The Bombers - who boosted their percentage from 143.6 to 163.5 with the win - bolted out of the blocks to lead by 51 points at quarter-time and then extended their advantage to 75 points at half-time.

They then unleashed an extraordinary third quarter to the town end when they slammed on 14.2 to 0.2 to blow their lead out to 169 points heading into the final term. 

"We had a strong wind in that third quarter, which obviously helped us, but the most pleasing thing was that we did all the things we spoke about before the game," Shadbolt said.

"We're starting to get close to our full side for the first time this year, which obviously helps as well."

Full-forward Hocking's 12 goals was the first double-figure bag in the HDFL this season.

"He has been presenting well and getting his hands to the ball, but dropping a few marks over the past few weeks. Today he clunked them and had a really good day," Shadbolt said.

As well as Hocking's 12 goals, Jake Williams kicked seven in his return from a hamstring injury and Joel Donehue added five.

Those three were all among the Bombers' best, along with Russell Lee, Lee Pollock (two goals) and Jackson McEwen.

While the third-placed Bombers have won five in a row, they now come up against the three teams they lost to in the first half of the season - LBU, Mount Pleasant and North Bendigo.

Saturday was the second time Elmore has had a score of more than 200 kicked against it after White Hills booted 31.18 (204) against the Bloods in round eight.

"We are decimated by injury with 10 players out at the moment," Bloods coach Stephen Arthur said.

"We had no bench in the second half, but full credit to Leitchville-Gunbower; they played great footy. We will continue to fight each week."

Jeff McMurtrie (two goals), Jackson Vredenburg and Rhys Mehlstaubler were the best for the Bloods in what was a tough day for the winless bottom side.

The 180-point margin was the biggest in the HDFL since Heathcote beat Huntly by 245 points in round 18, 2007.

• There was almost perfect symmetry in the margin for Mount Pleasant in its belting of Heathcote at Toolleen.

On the weekend Mount Pleasant celebrated its 125th anniversary reunion, the Blues won by 127 points - 27.10 (172) to 6.9 (45).

The Blues kicked five goals in the first quarter, seven in the second, eight in the third and seven in the last and have now won four games in a row for the first time since 2007.

"It was a really good team effort by the boys today," Blues coach Derrick Filo said.

"It's obviously a big weekend for the club with the reunion. There were a lot of supporters and former players there, so it was pleasing we were able to put in a good performance for them."

Star forward Kain Robins has moved to the top of the HDFL goalkicking with his bag of nine taking him to 41 for the season.

But it wasn't only Robins who dominated inside 50, with Luke Milroy carving up the Saints' defence with a haul of eight.

"Luke has added that extra string to the forward line on top of the other two guys (Robins and Matt Gretgrix)," Filo said.

"It's important to have that third option who can pop up and kick a few each week and he is playing that role really well."

As well as Robins and Milroy, outstanding defender Tim Hill, Matthew Filo and Koe Ngawati also played key roles as the Blues improved to 9-3.

The best for the Saints, who continue to battle injuries, were led by the consistent Kyle Seidel, Marc Millard in his return from the World Cup in Brazil, Jack Paisley and Daniel Carroll.

• North Bendigo is back on top of the ladder after extending its winning streak to nine against the team it started against - Colbinabbin.

The Bulldogs proved too good for the Grasshoppers by 28 points, winning 12.15 (87) to 8.11 (59) at Superior Roofing Oval.

North Bendigo got away to a strong start to lead by 24 points at quarter-time, 4.5 to 0.5.

Both sides then kicked eight goals apiece after quarter-time, with the Bulldogs putting their foot down early in the last after the Grasshoppers were still in touch at the final change when they were within 16 points.

"Colbinabbin took it right up to us as we expected, and if it wasn't for 15 minutes in that last quarter where we were able to kick three or four unanswered goals and get a bit of a gap, it could have gone right down to the wire," Bulldogs co-coach Rob Bennett said.

"Daniel Sipthorp's first 15 minutes in the last quarter was as good as I've seen all year. He carried us and then the rest of the guys jumped on board and we went from there."

Midfielder Sipthorp, ruckman Tony Plim and Ryan Alford, Brendan Jennings and Tyson Findlay, who were all part of the onball rotation, were the best for the Bulldogs, whose nine-game winning streak is their best since they won 10 in a row in 2001.

Colbinabbin has now lost four in a row - all against top-five sides.

"It was similar to the past month... we were in the game most of the day, but just couldn't get it done," Grasshoppers coach Phil Morgan said.

"North has been smashing sides the past few weeks that are around them on the ladder, so I thought we competed fairly well."

Hugh Barlow, David Price, Stephen Tuohey and Will Morrow played well for the sixth-placed Grasshoppers, who suffered a blow in the opening 10 minutes when Pat O'Brien reinjured his hamstring.

• White Hills moved two games clear inside the top five and ended its three-game losing streak with a 10.14 (74) to 7.13 (55) win over Huntly at Hy-Line Australia Oval in the closest game of the round.

With the Hawks’ season on the line, they were forced to play catch-up after the Demons led 3.5 to 0.1 at quarter-time.

The Hawks cut the deficit to a goal at half-time and were still within striking distance during the last term, but the Demons responded to the challenge and finished well to win by 19 points.

"It was a real scrap after quarter-time and getting those early goals on the board was probably the difference in the end," Demons coach Shaun Makepeace said.

"The boys stuck to their task well and it was one of those games that wasn't pretty, but on the back of our past few weeks, we just needed to get the win and we were able to do it."

Onballers Hayden Wright and Jacob Heavyside set the tone for the Demons, while Ricky Symes proved a handful up forward, kicking six of White Hills' 10 goals. Symes also kicked six against the Hawks in round four.

The defeat leaves last year's grand finalist, Huntly, three games outside the top five with only five rounds remaining.

Ryley Dickens, Braidy Dickens and Ryan Harris battled hard for the Hawks in their fifth loss in a row.


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