Coach - Matt Hawken
Record - 18-1
Percentage - 263.6%
Average for - 137
Average against - 52
Points differential - +85
def Colbinabbin 100-52
def Mount Pleasant 168-44
def Elmore 171-38
def Heathcote 110-41
def Huntly 148-55
lt North Bendigo 83-151
def White Hills 131-49
def LBU 169-40
def Colbinabbin 84-54
def Mount Pleasant 203-15
def Elmore 212-42
def Heathcote 218-33
def Huntly 114-85
def North Bendigo 91-41
def White Hills 162-36
def LBU 167-22
def Colbinabbin 76-24
def North Bendigo 97-87
def North Bendigo 108-82
SUMMARY - Driven by the disappointment of back-to-back grand final defeats in 2015 and 2016, Leitchville-Gunbower was a team on a mission in the Heathcote District league in 2017.
The Bombers lost just once for the year when they copped a 68-point hiding off the team that had beaten them in the previous two grand finals - North Bendigo - in round seven.
Their other 18 games were wins by an average of 94 points, while there was one three-game stretch where the Bombers won by a combined 543 points when they thrashed Mount Pleasant (188), Elmore (170) and Heathcote (185) consecutively.
Those three results were among seven games the Bombers won by more than 100 points during the home and away season, but for all their dominance, they had to settle for second position on the ladder.
Normally a 15-1 home and away season with a percentage of 292.1 would have a team comfortably finishing top of the ladder, but the Bombers were trumped by North Bendigo, which was also 15-1, but the Bulldogs' percentage was a superior 313.6.
The two powerhouses met twice in the finals, with the Bombers prevailing both times - by 10 points in the second semi and 26 points in the grand final, 15.18 (108) to 12.10 (82).
The flag was Bombers' maiden HDFL premiership, and also the club's first since 1995, while their under-17s were also victorious.
"It makes all the hard work worth it, that's for sure," Bombers coach Matt Hawken said.
Star forward Matt Perri had a stellar year, booting 124 goals for the Bombers, including three bags of 10-plus, and he finished equal third in the Cheatley Medal along side team-mate Matt Ladson, each polling 13 votes.
Four Leitchville-Gunbower players finished among the top 10 in the Addy player rankings - Ladson (No.1), Matt Pollock (No.2), Jackson McEewen (No.6) and Perri (No.8).
THE TEAM - Brad Ladson, Brady Hore, Daniel Coates, Daniel Couwenberg, Hoby Bussey, Lee Pollock, Liam Guinan, Logan Prout, Matt Ladson, Matt Perri, Matt Pollock, Mitch Bruns, Ryan Prendergast, Shaun Turvey, Tim Lincoln, Adam Decicco, Ayden Walton, Daniel Meroli, Jackson McEwen, Joel Donehue, Luke Sevior, Steve Pretty.
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Coach - Peter Bradbury
Record - 19-1
Percentage - 183.9%
Average for - 124
Average against - 67
Points differential - +57
def Golden Square 97-82
def Northern United 212-28
def Kennington 139-67
def Kyneton 180-77
def Sandhurst 136-56
def Eaglehawk 103-102
def North Bendigo 160-47
def Kangaroo Flat 140-111
def Castlemaine 86-56
def Golden Square 131-60
def Northern United 123-18
def Kennington 126-32
def Kyneton 93-54
def Sandhurst 134-112
def Eaglehawk 116-94
def North Bendigo 158-56
def Kangaroo Flat 108-66
lt Castlemaine 48-98
def Eaglehawk 85-42
def Castlemaine 98-76
SUMMARY - What would have been a perfect 1991 season for South Bendigo in the Bendigo league was spoiled by Castlemaine in the final round.
The reigning premier Bloods were 17-0 when they headed into their round 18 clash against Castlemaine, but were given a timely reminder on the eve of the finals of the threat the Magpies posed.
The Magpies won by 50 points and would later be the Bloods' grand final opponent.
"I believe losing that last game of the year did us some good as a group," Bloods' captain Peter Tyack said in 2016 as the club celebrated a 25-year reunion of the flag.
"It certainly made us aware that we were going to have to work hard over the finals to win the premiership."
Among the Bloods' 17 wins before their loss to the Magpies were five by more than 100 points, including a 184-point belting of Northern United in round two.
Coached by Peter Bradbury, the Bloods finished three games clear on top of the ladder from second-placed Eaglehawk.
They beat the Hawks by 43 points in the second semi-final and then faced the emerging Castlemaine - which boasted both the 1991 Michelsen medallist Derrick Filo and Ron Best medallist Steven Oliver (136 goals) - in the grand final a fortnight later.
In what was a cracking game in front of a huge crowd at the QEO, no more than a goal separated the two sides at the first three breaks, before the Bloods broke away in the final term to win 14.14 (98) to 10.16 (76) in what was described at the time as one of the BFL's "most absorbing contests of the modern era".
"It was a terrific contest right to the final siren and a great spectacle for Bendigo footy. Castlemaine had a fantastic team of players, we were the same and there was no quarter given all day," Tyack said.
THE TEAM - Trevor Wright, Robert Bakes, Jeremy Crough, Tony Gundry, Brian Kendal, Stephen Dean, Francis Burke, Peter Bradbury, David Griffin, Brendan Cornell, Stephen Allender, Mark Keck, Peter Hall, Sean Cahoon, Peter Tyack, Darren Craig, Scott Anderson.
No. 16 & 15 - Colbinabbin 1999; Mount Pleasant 1995
No. 18 & 17 - YCW 1997; Bridgewater 2015
No. 20 & 19 - Mount Pleasant 1997; Mount Pleasant 1993
No. 22 & 21 - Bridgewater 2010; Bridgewater 2011
No. 24 & 23 - LBU 2011; Colbinabbin 1998
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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