THE Heathcote and District Football League regular season will wrap up this weekend as Lockington-Bamawm United travels to take on Leitchville-Gunbower at the Gunbower Recreation Reserve.
The Bombers have been in outstanding form with nine straight wins since a round seven loss to North Bendigo, the Cats needing no reminder of how dangerous they are after being belted by 129 against LG in round nine.
But LBU has made a serious improvement in the back half of 2017, playing far more competitive football and knocking off four teams to move to sixth on the ladder.
Cats’ coach Peter Gibbs was under no illusions as to what a difficult challenge his side would be in for.
‘‘We’re hoping to make it as tough as possible for them,’’ he said.
‘‘Realistically, we know where we sit but we’ll try and make them work hard for it.’’
Gunbower has become one of the toughest places to play in the HDFL, LG winners of its last 11 games at the venue dating back to round 18 of 2014.
LBU’s task is just as tough considering recent history against the Bombers, not having beaten them since 2014’s preliminary final.
With history, and form, against his side, Gibbs said it would look to close the season enjoying football and playing hard.
‘‘We’ll be giving our best, which we’ve done every week even though we’re not winning,’’ he said.
‘‘They’re young, and the experience all bodes well going forward.’’
LG is almost certainly locked into second position on the ladder, needing either North Bendigo to lose to second-bottom Elmore or to make up 22 per cent in a win against the Cats.
The Bombers will likely face Colbinabbin in next weekend’s qualifying final, the winner moving to a clash with North for a spot in the September 9 grand final.
LG coach Matt Hawken pointed to the brilliant form of the club’s reserves for plenty of competition for places in the side going forward.
‘‘We’ve got players really hitting some form, and we’re still looking to improve,’’ he said.
‘‘You couldn’t fault the side last week and we’ll be looking for that again.’’
The game likely a dead rubber, Hawken said the side was carrying a couple of players with niggling injuries, those players to be assessed and possibly rested.
■LOCKINGTON-BAMAWM United heads to this weekend’s Heathcote and District Netball League round 18 clash with Leitchville-Gunbower with its season still alive — but only a massive win against the Bombers will do.
LG is 8-7 this season, LBU 7-8 and needing to make up 10 per cent in beating the Bombers — a win of more than 30 goals — in order to overtake it for fifth position on the ladder.
It seems an unlikely proposition considering the round nine clash between the sides, LG too strong for the Cats winning 50-39.
Both sides were beaten by top teams in round 17, LG downed by 19 goals against White Hills while LBU was thrashed by 26 against Colbinabbin.
LG coach Jodie Lake said her side was focused on getting a result against the Cats and finding some form to challenge sides in finals.
‘‘We’re confident from the last time we played them and hopefully we’ll have something near a full side for the game,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re looking forward to the test, and then hopefully for finals.’’
Lake’s season appears in doubt after a leg injury in recent weeks had caused her to miss games against North Bendigo and White Hills.