Colbinabbin craving Leitchville-Gunbower scalp

Colbinabbin coach Nick Knight addresses his players earlier this season.
Colbinabbin coach Nick Knight addresses his players earlier this season.

PATCHY and with plenty of room for improvement is how Colbinabbin coach Nick Knight describes the Grasshoppers’ first half of the Heathcote District league season.

The Grasshoppers begin the second half of their season as one of three teams – along with Huntly and White Hills – with a 5-3 record.

They are third on the ladder, but have come up short in their three biggest tests so far against Leitchville-Gunbower (lost by 48), North Bendigo (69) and Huntly (6).

While Knight is pleased to be sitting top three at the halfway mark, he knows his side needs to find more gears if it’s to be a team that can thwart what at this stage is looking like another North Bendigo v Leitchville-Gunbower grand final for the third year in a row.

On Saturday the opportunity presents for the Grasshoppers to claim a confidence-boosting scalp when they host the Bombers.

“There’s no doubt it’s a massive game for our footy club and we’d love at 5pm on Saturday to have that scalp we’re chasing, but we know it’s going to be hard work,” Knight said on Friday.

“We’ve got a few plans and processes that will, hopefully, work for us.

“Right now there’s no doubt North Bendigo and Leitchville are the two best sides. They are both well coached and if we want to achieve anything this year, these are the types of challenges on Saturday we have to accept and give a good showing in.

“To compete against the good sides like Leitchville, we’ve got to be able to sustain pressure and our Colbo brand of footy for four quarters.”

One of the great strengths of Leitchville-Gunbower in recent seasons has been its brigade of runners, but Knight is confident the Grasshoppers – coming off the bye last week – can match the Bombers for leg speed.

“We think we’re a good running side, we’ve just got to make sure we execute our skills,” Knight said.

“As a team we’ve been patchy this year, so improvement is the key for the second half and that needs to start on Saturday.”

Saturday’s games – North Bendigo (8-0) v Heathcote (3-5), Colbinabbin (5-3) v Leitchville-Gunbower (7-1), LBU (0-8) v Mount Pleasant (2-6), White Hills (5-3) v Elmore (1-7). Huntly bye.