100 years up, 129 points down

June 12, 2017

LBU's Callum Buchanan tries to break a tackle against Leitchville-Gunbower.

IT WAS always on the cards, and in the end that’s exactly how it played out with the machine-like Leitchville-Gunbower spoiling Lockington-Bamawm United’s party.

And it only took minutes into their Heathcote and District Football League match at Nichol Trading Oval yesterday afternoon.

The locals had barely taken a seat on the day of LBU’s 100 years of football celebration before the Bombers had a huge lead against their less-experienced opponents and the stuffing out of the Cats.

The Bombers, 6-1 heading into the game, would dominate each area of the ground to run away with the game by a lazy 129 points; 25.19 (169) to 6.4 (40).

In front of a large crowd to celebrate the club’s centenary, the Cats could do little to stop the run and carry of the Bombers, Leitchville-Gunbower leading by eight goals inside the first term.

Darcy McCallum was gutsy in the last line of defence for LBU but as the Cats tried to take the game on and create opportunities going forward, their turnovers played perfectly into the hands of the Bombers, who had time to find the right option going forward.

They played with precision, Jack Dye’s goal from the boundary moments before the quarter-time siren given the Bombers a 50-point lead.

‘‘Our first quarters have been off for probably a month; the scoreboard has looked fine but our general play has been off,’’ Leitchville-Gunbower coach Matt Hawken said.

‘‘We made a real focus of that today because we knew Lockington would be up. Our boys are used to playing in big games and it was a big crowd, and I thought our first quarter was brilliant.

‘‘Our pressure was back up, we used the ball well and we had an eight-goal quarter. That set the tone and really took the wind out of their sails.’’

The Cats found little spread when moving the football, and turnovers leading to Bombers’ goals was a constant throughout the game.

They finally found a goal four minutes into the second-quarter but the Leitchville-Gunbower forwards were queuing up after intense forward pressure won the ball back.

Oliver O’Shea was one of many Bomber forwards not allowing LBU to get the ball out of its defence and he capped off brilliant play from Joel Donehue with a mark and goal from the pocket as they raced to a near-80-point lead by half-time..

Adam Decicco, Donehue, Ayden Walton, Dye and Matthew Perri were just some of the dangerous Bomber forwards constantly presenting for the football and pressuring opponents when without the ball.

Jakson Gibbs and Nathan Dyson fought hard in LBU’s backline and Zeik Johnston and Marcus Angove used the ball well, but they couldn’t do enough to stop the Bombers’ march, a 100-point lead brought up by Perri in the third term.

The Bombers had the game wrapped up early, and the Cats continued to fight late into the final term, Meyrick Buchanan capitalising with three goals in the quarter to lead the Cats.

The 129-point margin was a fair reflection of LG’s superiority, through experience and polish; its players consistently found space to lead into and the ball-carrier always had many options to choose from.

Perri finished with seven goals, Dye chipping in with another four.

‘‘Our pace was back and we were good in tight,’’ Hawken said. ‘‘Fitness-wise too our boys were really able to run to get free and find space. Our boys do work pretty hard on that side of the game. We were able to get a lot of separation on the Lockington defenders too.’’

Hawken said he’d seen improvement in the side since the loss to North Bendigo in round seven.

‘‘It came at a good time; we took a young side to North which is always fraught with danger as they’re a big, powerful side,’’ he said.

‘‘We haven’t been really happy with our progression until today, and we made some good steps in terms of what we’re trying to work on.’’

LBU is still searching for its first win, 0-8 to start the season placing it on the bottom of the ladder.

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