A DESTRUCTIVE performance from Leitchville-Gunbower has given Lockington-Bamawm United something to think about over the summer as its year ended with a 145-point drubbing on Saturday.
The Cats had been strong in the back-half of 2017, but were shown first-hand at the Gunbower Recreation Reserve how much they will need to improve to match it with the Heathcote and District Football League’s top dogs in the flogging.
Battered from pillar to post, LBU remained unable to challenge the experienced, classy Bombers who enter next weekend’s finals in absolutely brutal form.
LG coach Matt Hawken was satisfied with another strong win, the solid defensive performance a stand-out for him.
‘‘We took a few things out of it; LBU has been in reasonable form so to keep them to three goals and kick 25 of our own, we were really pleased,’’ he said.
‘‘The backline was outstanding, Logan Prout, Brad Ladson and Brady Hore were terrific and we had a couple of guys back in who played important roles.
‘‘We gave a few boys an opportunity at the higher level, and we produced a strong brand of footy.’’
Hawken said most importantly, his side had got through the game injury-free and he would have a full squad to pick from for Saturday’s qualifying final.
The Bombers wasted no time grabbing control of the contest, with a damaging 46-0 first quarter setting them perfectly on their way for a comfortable win.
The second was more of the same, LBU broke through for a goal but couldn’t stop their rampaging opponent who bagged another five to lead by 73 points at the half.
And half-time seemed to only sharpen the Bombers further, piling on another 13 goals to two in the second half to seal the 25.17 (167) to 3.4 (22) win.
Mitch Bruns continued his impressive run of form after returning from injury to be named LG’s best, Ladson one of a number of other contributors in the performance.
Matt Perri made it 108 goals for the season with another seven against the Cats, Tim Lincoln booting four and Daniel Coates three in what was his goalkicking return of the season.
Hawken said his side’s fast start had hurt the Cats, a dominant midfield display from Matt Ladson, Matt Pollock, Daniel Couwenberg and Joel Donehue in the opening stanza quickly putting LBU in trouble.
‘‘We got them on the back foot early with the wind, they went a bit more defensive after that and got caught a little,’’ he said.
‘‘We defended really well, and we worked around their extra man behind the ball, we counteracted that and we were really pleased with that.’’
For the Cats, Liam Main, Marcus Angove and Jordan Brown were important while their three goals were kicked by Darcy McCallum, Zeik Johnston and Jakson Gibbs.
They end the season in a somewhat impressive sixth position on the HDFL ladder, considering a difficult start to the season which saw them lose their first nine games.
But the three-game gap to fifth position and finals football, combined with many big losses to the experienced sides highlight the improvement the side will still need to do to return to being a truly competitive side.
They played on Saturday without gun midfielder Meyrick Buchanan, who was instrumental in the side’s wins in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, the Bombers hit next Saturday’s qualifying final against Colbinabbin at Huntly in sensational form, with 10 straight wins and five of their last seven games wins by more than 100 points.
And Hawken said the enthusiasm heading into finals was club-wide, not just with the seniors.
‘‘We’re really pleased with how we’re going; we’ve finished second, the reserves are top three and the thirds haven’t had the best of times but snuck into the finals,’’ he said.
‘‘Most of our netball teams are in too, so we’re really excited for finals and hopefully we can produce our best footy over the next month.’’