Lockington-Bamawm United has defeated Huntly to claim the 2013 Heathcote and District Football League premiership.By Geordie Cowan
Lockington-Bamawm United’s remarkable era of dominance continued with its third Heathcote and District Football League premiership in a row, defeating Huntly 15.13
The win caps off a terrific four-year coaching spell from Kahl Oliver — who will play again with the team next year — while it was fitting incoming coach Ady Dohnt was named best on ground in the grand final.
Although only playing their second game in five weeks, the Cats looked more confident with the ball in their hands and ran away with the contest after half-time.
The relentless pressure which LBU exerted on its opponents was a feature of its game, as well as quick handballing and efficient disposal going forward.
Dohnt was industrious and effective in the midfield, while Carl Treacy was superb in defence, holding Chris Gleeson to a handful of touches and no goals.
Indeed, the Cats’ entire back half should be commended, restricting the Hawks to just seven scoring shots after quarter-time, with the likes of Nathan O’Brien, Simon Keleher, Dan Lucas and Ged Giddings rebounding well.
In the forward line, Jarod Bacon was instrumental in the Cats’ good start with four first-half majors, leading out strongly and converting his chances, while Lachie Collins took over in the second half with five goals to cement the result.
Midfielders Jesse Collins and Nathan Bacon also produced busy displays all day, with Liam Main battling hard in the ruck.
LBU was in control for much of the game, only narrowly failing to win all four quarters as the team’s constant rotations off the bench allowed players like Hayden Collins, Marcus Angove, Trent Bacon, Michael Dobson, John Halloran, Leigh Deledio, Trent Bacon, Ryan Jensen and Paul Hudson to impart pressure and move the ball forward.
Huntly coach Stacy Fiske tried hard all day, along with the industrious Cory Lobb — who was the team’s only multiple goal-kicker with two — while Cheatley medallist Ryan Semmel was not allowed the space to truly damage the Cats.
Alex Demeo, Adam Wicks and Tom Curry were other Huntly players to perform well on what was a disappointing day for the club, playing in its first HDFL grand final, after claiming 10 wooden spoons in a row from 2002 to 2011.
However, it was the Hawks who started the game better, with Fiske whisking the ball away from the opening bounce and goaling with just a handful of seconds on the clock.
The underdogs had all the early play but struggled to make the most of it, with Jarod Bacon kicking the Cats’ first goal.
He then ran on to a loose ball and drilled the goal from the pocket for the team to hit the lead.
A Michael Dobson pass to Oliver saw the coach sink a set shot from the pocket and Bacon grabbed a third as the Cats made sure the Hawks were left to rue their missed chances, leading 27-13 at the first break.
Oliver encouraged his team to start again in their efforts to produce a four-quarter performance and the Cats proceeded to dominate most of the term.
The Hawks’ disposal going forward was poor, put under extreme pressure by the Cats, while a long set shot from Dohnt extended the lead.
However, like Huntly, LBU also squandered many chances.
The Cats held a 24-point lead going into time on, but the Hawks pounced and kicked three goals in as many minutes through Braidy Dickens, a remarkable goal from the boundary by Luke Crameri and Corey Lobb.
However, Bacon replied immediately with his fourth goal for the half to take the team to a 43-31 lead into half-time.
With the game still well and truly up for grabs, young LBU forward Lachie Collins started the half on fire to kick three goals in the opening 10 minutes of the term, with Curry replying for the Hawks.
A Nathan Bacon snap from the pack pushed the lead out to five goals but Huntly then lifted with greater intensity and forward pressure, with Lobb goaling again.
However the Hawks, who desperately needed another goal before three-quarter-time, could not break through the LBU defence and a centring ball from Chris Hudson found Matt Bongiovanni, who steadied and goaled from 45m to give the team a 74-44 advantage at the last break.
Collins essentially put the result beyond doubt with the first two goals of the quarter, before Chris Hudson kicked the last two goals of the day.
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