Leitchville-Gunbower will tastes its first finals campaign since 2007.By Geordie Cowan
Leitchville-Gunbower is excited to reach its first finals series since 2007 and its first appearance in the Heathcote and District Football League since arriving in 2010, but the team is keen to progress further.
Coming from last place in 2012, the Bombers scraped into fifth spot this year on percentage and plays Heathcote in the elimination final at North Bendigo tomorrow.
‘‘We are excited about getting back into the finals mix,’’ Leitchville-Gunbower coach Marty Shadbolt said.
The Bombers have a good record against the Saints this year, winning their round three encounter at Heathcote by 24 points before losing in a thriller by one point in round 12.
Both teams are in good form going into the finals, but adding to Leitchville-Gunbower’s challenge is playing the game at Atkins St Oval, which is smaller and narrower than all other grounds in the league.
‘‘We would prefer bigger grounds, but we did play well there (at Atkins St against North Bendigo),’’ Shadbolt said.
‘‘We just know if we play well we will get the job done.’’
The Bombers are coming into the match after recording their highest ever score and victory in the HDFL against Elmore last week, but Shadbolt said the team’s form had been impressive for many rounds.
‘‘Our last five or six weeks have been really good, apart from one flat week against Mt Pleasant and they made us pay,’’ he said.
‘‘We have played some pretty good footy and we still had a few blokes out injured.
‘‘It will be one of our stronger sides of the year on Sunday, so we have no excuses.’’
Best and fairest winner Russell Lee has been in superb touch in the Bombers’ midfield lately, along with Shaun Douglass, while captain Jye Keath, Ben Embleton, Sam Hawkins, Shadbolt and Joel Donehue have also been impressive.
The team will need to remain wary of the Saints’ goal-scoring midfielders, with eight players having scored almost a goal a game or better.
Blake Coyle has been in terrific form for the team and was best on for Heathcote in the last match between the two teams, while Darcy McLean, coach Grant Ford and Marc Millard are dangerous players.
While the reserves are not in finals action, Shadbolt said it was good the under 17s team was still alive.
‘‘The thirds will have their strongest side of the year on Sunday as well,’’ he said.
‘‘They have a good chance of going a long way.’’
Shadbolt said Matt Cannard, Joel Helman and assistant coach Cameron Carter would come into the team.
The match will start at 2.15pm tomorrow.
Only two points separated the teams on the ladder at the end of the season, with the Demons winning both games between the teams.
The last time the teams played, White Hills won 52-7 in the middle of a good patch of form.
The cause of a house fire at a vacant Shepparton house yesterday morning is under investigation.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
BLU needs a big win if it hopes to progress to the stage of the GMC Twenty20 tournament.
More residents coming forward to make official complaints is behind a rise in assaults in the Campaspe region, according to police.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Reigning Murray Valley Cricket Association premier Strathmerton was far too good for Finley on Saturday, registering a 115-run victory.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Christmas is a time of giving and UnitingCare Cobram has joined forces with Target to ensure no stocking is left empty this festive season.
The official launch of the Murray Valley Industry Park facility today will see the announcement of the Deni Innovation Expo 2014 date.
SPC Ardmona, is sending eight containers loaded with $250,000 of fruit and vegetables to cyclone ravaged Philippines.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.