LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER are back on top of the HDFNL.
But it’s come on a sour note.
The Bombers came away with a 68-point victory against local rivals LBU, but they could spend the next few weeks without a number of players.
While coach Michael Pilcher isn’t worried about the impact on performance, he admits it sours his club’s view of its current position.
‘‘A lot of people are talking externally about us being back on top,’’ he said.
‘‘But we know within the walls of our club that we are missing a few of our players, which hurts us.
‘‘We have the players in our reserves ready to take those spots in the side, and we will go into the match with North Bendigo as confident as we would every other game, but it is disappointing four our group to know a few of our mates are hurt.’’
But it shouldn’t take the shine off a great win.
The Bombers were at their absolute best, booting six first quarter goals, putting the contest in their control from the early stages.
Despite a valiant effort from the Cats, the Bombers were not going to be stopped.
Jake Vandongen booted seven — taking his tally from the last two games to 15 — while at the other end Tyler Phillips kicked three for the Cats.
While the bests show usual suspects like Gleeson and Lincoln for the Bombers, Pilcher — who was himself named on that list in his return from injury — doesn’t agree.
‘‘We firmly believe that our back six were our best players,’’ he said.
‘‘They were fantastic in shutting down the LBU forwards. They only kicked six goals for the day, and to keep a side with that kind of scoring prowess to six is a great effort, so we think it was their day.’’
Of those six, it was Phillips’ three that had the most attention.
LBU coach Kahl Oliver spoke highly of his young forward.
‘‘He’s a 19-year-old kid playing in one of the hardest positions on the ground,’’ Oliver said.
‘‘He’s taken a bit of time to get to this form, but we are really happy with how he has come along to now.’’
Oliver admitted his opposition had just been too strong on the day.
‘‘They’re obviously a very good side,’’ he said.
‘‘They played some really good football and had us playing catchup, especially after the first quarter.’’
LBU remains riddled with injuries, so much so that Oliver pulled the boots on for a second time this season.
‘‘I do enjoy it, it’s helpful to have that experienced head around the young players at times,’’ he said.
‘‘But it’s not something I want to be doing every week, I want our best 22 out there every chance we can get.’’