HDFL is first cab off the rank

By Andrew Johnston

THE Heathcote District Football Netball League is the first of the region’s competitions to head to the finals.

With the opening week starting on Saturday, we take a quick look at where the matches sit.

Week off: North Bendigo get to celebrate the fruits of their labours on Saturday, as they take the week off.

The Bulldogs were buoyed by a strong percentage that kept them ahead of their rivals in Leitchville-Gunbower.

So now North can sit back, put their feet up and watch two strong finals.

Qualifying Final — Leitchville-Gunbower v Huntly at Heathcote, Saturday August 18, 2.15pm

The Bombers head into this final with some strong form behind them.

Since their loss to North Bendigo in round 10, the Bombers have not put a foot wrong.

They have gained a number of players back from injury, and are close to having their best 22 on the park, with coach Michael Pilcher saying his side would be at full strength late in the finals.

Huntly have spent some time this season at the pointy end of the ladder, briefly holding top spot.

The Hawks have only lost four games for the year, and are coming off the bye in the final round, so will be fresh for finals, if not slightly underdone.

Last time they met: We don’t have to go back far to find the last meeting between these two clubs, just two weeks ago.

On that day the Bombers booted 18 goals on their way to knocking off the Hawks by 52 points.

Prediction: Leitchville-Gunbower by 40 points.

Elimination Final, Colbinabbin v LBU at White Hills, Sunday August 19, 2.15pm

Colbinabbin head into the finals on something of an inconsistent season.

They’ve been able to knock off Leitchville-Gunbower, but haven’t had a great deal of success against the teams above them.

They head into finals having been on the wrong end of a 56 point thumping by North Bendigo.

At LBU, the Cats have found their way into the finals after a horrible 2017 season.

Returning coach Kahl Oliver has done a great job with his side, and they have more than earned this finals spot.

But going deep into the finals will be a challenge for either side.

Last time they met: It was only two rounds ago that these two teams produced an absolute heartstopper.

With one of the last kicks of the game, the Cats took the lead and held on for the win.

Prediction: Colbinabbin by 12 points.