Travelling Cats ready to take on Huntly after three weeks on the sidelines.By Geordie Cowan
Lockington-Bamawm United is excited about its return to the field in tomorrow’s second semi-final against Huntly.
The Cats have spent three weeks on the sidelines since their last game and coach Kahl Oliver said getting off to a good start was vital in the match at Heathcote’s Prendergast Oval.
‘‘We can’t be left at the gates,’’ he said.
‘‘We have to be on our game because we’ve had the last couple of weeks off.’’
Oliver said the team had trained on Saturday mornings to counteract some of the matches missed, but also gave his players more time to freshen up ahead of its next encounter.
With action not far away, the atmosphere was becoming one of excitement, the coach said.
‘‘The last couple of weeks, things have been a bit weird knowing we have to wait a couple of weeks,’’ Oliver said.
‘‘From my opinion, I’m really excited just to get out there again.’’
Oliver said he expected a ‘‘very tough encounter’’ against the Hawks, who have clearly been the next-best team in the Heathcote and District Football League this year and also inflicted LBU’s only defeat of the year.
Huntly has won its past six matches, including a 50-point defeat of North Bendigo in the qualifying final last week.
Huntly was also the highest scoring team in the league for much of the season until LBU’s final three rounds in which it averaged almost 160 points.
‘‘I don’t know whether the smaller ground will make a difference, but they’re probably very similar to us and prefer big wide grounds with plenty of space,’’ Oliver said.
‘‘We’ve tried over the years to be a little less predictable (in attack)
‘‘We are expecting Huntly to throw everything at us.’’
Oliver also said having the reserves team still in finals action made a good environment at the club.
‘‘There are a lot more blokes on the training track,’’ he said.
‘‘It is a good time to be out at the club with the footballers and also quite a few netballers still in.’’
Leigh Deledio will return to the side after missing the last match due to being overseas, but other outs are still undecided and Jesse Collins (hamstring) has to have a fitness test.
The likes of Chris Gleeson, Luke Ross, Braidy Dickens, Lachie O’Toole, Daniel Lloyd and Ryan Semmel will cause a headache for the Cats when in attack, while Josh Harris, Adam Wicks, Michael Fitzgerald and Angus McKinley have also been in good form recently.
The match starts at 3pm tomorrow.
LBU enters the match with confidence after a strong season in which it had a negative record to only one team — Huntly — while it defeated the Demons by 15 and 23 points in both matches this year.
The Cats will look to forwards Shannon McClay and Jamie Maddison and players like Jeremy Mundie, Joe Holloway, Callan Randall and Dane Harris to lift the team tomorrow.
The match starts at 11.50am.
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