THE next edition of our series on the 50 most dominant premiership seasons in the Bendigo, Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues since 1990.
24 - LBU 2011
Coach - Kahl Oliver
Record - 17-1
Percentage - 204.6%
Average for - 125
Average against - 61
Points differential - +64
def Huntly 193-30
def Mount Pleasant 138-57
def North Bendigo 116-112
def White Hills 86-46
def Elmore 125-47
def Leitchville-Gunbower 200-51
def Colbinabbin 147-36
def Huntly 183-21
def Heathcote 116-63
def Mount Pleasant 123-81
def North Bendigo 143-71
def White Hills 129-55
def Elmore 67-45
def Leitchville-Gunbower 121-58
def Colbinabbin 76-30
def Elmore 104-79
def Heathcote 99-93
SUMMARY - The 2011 season began a reign of dominance in the Heathcote District league for Lockington-Bamawm United that would last through until 2014.
The Cats' 2011 season under coach Kahl Oliver was the first of four-consecutive premiership years for the club.
Having lost the 2010 grand final to Heathcote, the Cats made an immediate statement in 2011, crushing Huntly by 163 points, 29.19 (193) to 3.12 (30), in round one.
The Cats were beaten by 38 points by Heathcote in the grand final re-match the following week, but wouldn't lose again for the remainder of the season.
The Cats' 17-1 record included a three-week rampage mid-season in which they crushed Leitchville-Gunbower by 149 points, Colbinabbin by 111 and Huntly by 162, outscoring their opposition 79 goals to 15 in rounds eight to 10.
Having finished 10 points clear on top of the ladder the Cats knocked off Elmore by 25 points in the second semi-final before getting their shot at redemption from a year earlier against Heathcote in the grand final.
The Cats duly completed their season of dominance on grand final day, holding off a fast-finishing Heathcote to win by six points, 15.9 (99) to 14.9 (93), and claim the club's first HDFL premiership since joining the league 10 years earlier.
Premiership coach Oliver was the competition's leading goalkicker, finishing with 71 - including 16 against Huntly in round 10 - while the Cats also got more than 30 goals out of the trio of Bryce Deledio (35), Lachlan Collins (33) and Adrian Dohnt (31).
As well as the senior premiership, the Cats also won the reserves and under-17 flags in 2011, becoming the first HDFL club since Stanhope in 1976 to complete the trifecta.
THE TEAM - Adrian Dohnt, Carl Treacy, Chris Hudson, Daniel Lucas, John Halloran, Kahl Oliver, Lachlan Collins, Leigh Deledio, Liam Main, Matt Bongiovanni, Mick Dobson, Nathan O'Brien, Ged Giddings, Hayden Collins, Jarrod Bacon, Nathan Bacon, Bryce Deledio, David Robbins, Ben McPhee, Brodie Collins, Carl Moon, Sean Murphy.
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23 - COLBINABBIN 1998
Coach - Phil Morgan
Record - 17-1
Percentage - 210.2%
Average for - 113
Average against - 54
Points differential - +59
def North Bendigo 185-57
def Huntly 88-53
lt Mount Pleasant66-78
def Heathcote 136-55
def White Hills 115-53
def Broadford 89-67
def Elmore 53-6
def North Bendigo 125-117
def Huntly 135-42
def Mount Pleasant 64-46
def Heathcote 122-10
def White Hills 123-21
def Broadford 103-84
def Elmore 113-78
def North Bendigo 102-55
def Huntly 183-62
def Mount Pleasant 148-57
def North Bendigo 85-27
SUMMARY - After a two-year absence from the Heathcote District league finals in 1996-97, Colbinabbin hit back with vengeance in 1998.
The return of 1991 premiership coach Phil Morgan to the club from Rochester brought about immediate success as the Grasshoppers powered their way to a 17-1 season that included two emphatic finals wins.
Firstly against Mount Pleasant when the Grasshoppers crushed the Blues by 91 points in the second semi, and then two weeks later they kept North Bendigo to just four goals in the grand final, winning the flag 11.19 (85) to 4.3 (27).
"I was really fortunate that Chris Bolton who had coached for a couple of years before had put games into our kids and by the time I got hold of them they were ready to get going," Morgan said this week.
"It was a great group of players that year. They were always focused and never got ahead of themselves.
"North Bendigo was a very handy side we played in the grand final and I thought if something was going to let us down it could be our lack of experience.
"But looking back on it now, I didn't have any need to be concerned because the kids had been so good all year and they were again in the grand final."
Earlier in the year the Grasshoppers had thrashed North Bendigo by 128 points in the opening round.
The only defeat the Grasshoppers suffered in 1998 was early in the season when beaten by Mount Pleasant by 12 points in round three.
But that was followed by 15-consecutive wins by an average of 61 points. In one of those games they held Elmore goal-less in round seven.
As well as Morgan, the Grasshoppers' premiership team also included Chris Bolton, Peter Watson, Bernard Ryan and Andrew McTaggart who had been a part of Colbinabbin's previous flag triumph in 1991.
THE TEAM - Chris Pinniger, Brian Duke, Nathan East, Peter Watson, Justin McCarthy, Bill Ogden, Kristan Hill, Guy Rathjen, Andrew McLean, Chris Bolton, Brendan Kelly, Ben Tuohey, Damon Cusack, Bernard Ryan, Andrew McTaggart, Andrew Dunne, Adrian Fidler, Phil Morgan, Matt Kelly, Steve Addicoat.
THE LIST SO FAR
No. 26 & 25 - Gisborne 2003; LBU 2013
No. 28 & 27 - Gisborne 2002; Colbinabbin 1991
No. 30 & 29 - Maryborough 1998; Gisborne 2005
No. 32 & 31 - South Bendigo 1994; Golden Square 2009
No. 34 & 33 - Castlemaine 1992; South Bendigo 1990
No. 36 & 35 - Mitiamo 1999; Sandhurst 2016
No. 38 & 37 - North Bendigo 2019; Leitchville-Gunbower 2018
No. 40 & 39 - Bridgewater 1991; Calivil United 2017
No. 42 & 41 - Heathcote 1992, Sandhurst 2004
No. 44 & 43 - Eaglehawk 2008, Elmore 2007
No. 46 & 45 - Mount Pleasant 1990, Newbridge 2018
No. 48 & 47 - Gisborne 2006, Calivil United 1990
No. 50 & 49 - Calivil United 2003, Eaglehawk 2018
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