Central Highland’s season so far

July 31, 2021 BY

Best on show: The two stand-out teams in the Central Highlands Football League this year have been Dunnstown and Rokewood. Photos: FILE

WITH games in the Central Highlands Football League back underway from today, albeit without spectators, we took a look on how all sides have been travelling.

Teams have been graded on their improvement from season 2019, current ladder position, fixture to come, consistency and their overall standard of footy.

 

Ballan

2021 Record: 1-0-8 (sixteenth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Hepburn (A)

RD16 Rokewood-Corindhap (H)

RD17 Creswick (A)

Season highlight: RD5 Carngham-Linton 10.7.67 def by. Ballan 16.7.103

Season lowlight: RD12 Ballan 2.4.16 def by. Gordon 42.26.278

Leading goal kicker: Dylan Wright 13 goals

A bleak outlook for one of the competitions cellar dwellers with their only win back in round five the only highlight in another poor year out of the Blues camp.

Grade: F

 

Beaufort

2021 Record: 1-0-8 (fifteenth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Clunes (H)

RD16 Learmonth (A)

RD17 Daylesford (H)

Season highlight: RD1 Carngham-Linton 6.8.44 def by. Beaufort 7.8.50

Season lowlight: Fall from grace since 2018 flag

Leading goal kicker: Tim Haase 10 goals

Uncompetitive to date the Crow have a good opportunity to give their supporters something to cheer about in the coming weeks. A shock upset could do the club wonders as they look to rebound next season and get back being a contender.

Grade: D

 

Bungaree

2021 Record: 5-0-5 (Eleventh)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Bye

RD16 Springbank (H)

RD17 Newlyn (A)

Season highlight: RD10 Learmonth 5.7.37 def by. Bungaree 7.13.55

Season lowlight: Poor start to the season

Leading goal kicker: John Butler 22 goals

With a badly timed bye on the horizon, the Demons will have to win their last two games and have results go their way to make the top eight. Springbank and Newlyn are currently eighth and ninth respectively with Bungaree maybe ruing a slow start to season.

Grade: C

 

Buninyong have gone from top-flight, to middle of the pack since 2019.

Buninyong

2021 Record: 6-0-3 (seventh)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Carngham-Linton (A)

RD16 Waubra (A)

RD17 Skipton (H)

Season highlight: Staying within the Hunt despite some bad losses

Season lowlight: RD9 Buninyong 5.3.33 def by. Rokewood-Corindhap 10.30.90

Leading goal kicker: Caius Barrenger 24 goals

The last three matches are a good gauging point for the Bombers. A healthy percentage should be boosted against the bottom place Saints in round 15 and therefore securing a final position. The last couple weeks against top eight sides will tell us if they are pretenders or contenders.

Grade: D

 

Carngham-Linton

2021 Record: 0-0-9

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Buninyong (H)

RD16 Gordon (H)

RD17 Dunnstown (A)

Season highlight: Tim Clarkes 300th

Season lowlight: Too many uncompetitive performances

Leading goal kicker: Josh Foley 17 goals

No doubt the toughest draw to finish the season makes it hard to see the Saints getting a victory in 2021. Youngsters Josh Foley and Dean O’Brien have been the standout in what looks like a winless season, as the rebuild continues out of Carngham.

Grade: F

 

Clunes

2021 Record: 5-0-4 (tenth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Beaufort (A)

RD16 Hepburn (H)

RD17 Rokewood-Corindhap (A)

Season highlight: RD4 Clunes 7.7.49 def. Learmonth 6.10.46

Season lowlight: RD12 Clunes 4.5.29 def by. Buninyong 30.12.192

Leading goal kicker: Jonny Fazio 21 goals

Clearly the biggest success story of season 2021, the Magpies will have to make a fairytale happen to see the post-season this year. Favourites against Beaufort but then two tough encounters against top four sides, the Maggies need to shock the world against one if not both to make the eight.

Grade: C

 

Creswick

2021 Record: 2-0-8 (fourteenth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Rokewood-Corindhap (A)

RD16 Bye

RD17 Ballan (H)

Season highlight: Dane Swan suiting up for a one off

Season lowlight: RD1 Clunes 10.18.78 def. Creswick 3.7.25

Leading goal kicker: Jarryd Underwood 17 goals

A tough year to be a Wickers fan with hopes in the pre-season to maybe play finals footy a real distant memory. A round 17 encounter with the struggling Blues could give fans a final win of 2021 but nevertheless it has been a super disappointing year for Ryan Knowles’ squad.

Grade: F

 

Daylesford

2021 Record: 2-1-7 (thirteenth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Gordon (A)

RD16 Dunnstown (H)

RD17 Beaufort (A)

Season highlight: Competitive nature week after week

Season lowlight: Boom Recruit Josh Cowan getting injured Rd1

Leading goal kicker: Scott Hughes 27 goals

Super competitive week after week despite not having ex-Geelong Footballer, Josh Cowan all season, you can hang your heads high as a Doggies fan despite only winning two games this year.

Grade: B

 

Dunnstown

2021 Record: 7-0-3 (fourth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Learmonth (A)

RD16 Daylesford (A)

RD17 Carngham-Linton (H)

Season highlight: RD6 Dunnstown 9.14.68 def. Buninyong 10.3.63

Season lowlight: RD4 Dunnstown 7.16.58 def by. Springbank 8.12.60

Leading goal kicker: Matt Bulluss & Scott Howson 20 goals

In many pundits’ eyes, a soft run home here for the Towners ahead of big finals campaign should cement their place amongst the competition’s elite within the top four. Their defence is the key to Glen Wilken’s success so far with their ability to keep a side to a low enough score a real danger for their September opponents.

Grade: A

 

The Eagles are daring to dream big and have the minor-premiership pretty much sewn up.

Gordon

2021 Record: 9-0-0 (first)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Daylesford (H)

RD16 Carngham-Linton (A)

RD17 Waubra (H)

Season highlight: Too many to pinpoint

Season lowlight: N/A

Leading goal kicker: Ash Munari 26 goals

What more can you say than the perfect season at this point for Eagles fans. They have all but already sown up the minor premiership with a keen fan base hoping footy returns so they can maximise that into premiership success.

Grade: A

 

Hepburn’s Sam Dunstan is chasing the comp’s top goal kicker prize.

Hepburn

2021 Record: 7-1-1 (second)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Ballan (H)

RD16 Clunes (A)

RD17 Learmonth (H)

Season highlight: RD3 Hepburn 20.13.133 def. Waubra 6.8.44

Season lowlight: RD9 Gordon 15.10.100 def. Hepburn 9.11.65

Leading goal kicker: Sam Dunstan 57 goals

The Burra have a soft draw to finish the season with the key focus to put pressure on neighbouring top sides as a premiership contender. Sam Dunstan is poised to win his first league goal kicking award with many pundits hoping the Burra feed him as much as possible in the final rounds.

Grade: B

 

Learmonth

2021 Record: 3-0-6 (twelfth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Dunnstown (H)

RD16 Beaufort (H)

RD17 Hepburn (A)

Season highlight: Learmonth 9.9.63 def. Daylesford 8.13.61

Season lowlight: Losses in crunch games

Leading goal kicker: James Pratt 18 goals

Finals was a pass mark for the Lakies but after being mathematically ruled out with their last loss last time out, it is very safe to say regardless of  how the rest of their season unfolds, this year has been an epic fail.

Grade: D

 

Newlyn

2021 Record: 5-0-4 (ninth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Waubra (H)

RD16 Skipton (A)

RD17 Bungaree (H)

Season highlight: RD12 Learmonth 9.7.61 def by. Newlyn 11.11.77

Season lowlight: Injuries

Leading goal kicker: Tom Carey 17 goals

Battling injuries to key players like Marcus Darmody and the Sewell Brothers, the Cats have done well to remain within the hunt in Chris Barnwell’s first year as senior coach. The hope is to get this top end talent post this lockdown to give them a chance in these three crunch that will all have a massive say on the shape of the finals fixture.

Grade: C

 

Rokewood-Corindhap

2021 Record: 7-0-3 (third)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Creswick (H)

RD16 Ballan (A)

RD17 Clunes (H)

Season highlight: RD9 Buninyong 5.3.33 def by. Rokewood-Corindhap 10.30.90

Season lowlight: RD12 Dunnstown 5.7.37 def. Rokewood-Corindhap 3.5.23

Leading goal kicker: Jake Carr 22 goals

One of the competition’s big improvers, the Hoppers will return to finals action in a top four spot the way things are looking. Their best footy is right up there with the best in the competition, with the level of consistency always the talking point when they take the field week after week.

Grade: A

 

Skipton

2021 Record: 7-0-3 (fifth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Springbank (A)

RD16 Newlyn (H)

RD17 Buninyong (A)

Season highlight: RD12 Waubra 5.9.39 def by. Skipton 7.9.51

Season lowlight: RD4 Hepburn 23.16.154 def. Skipton 10.6.66

Leading goal kicker: Andrew Pitson 23 goals

A real dark horse to go all the way in season 2021, the Emus might be pundits best outside the competition’s top four to go all the way. Their attacking game style is not only pleasing on the eye but capable of beating anyone on their day.

Grade: B

 

Springbank

2021 Record: 6-0-4 (eight)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Skipton (H)

RD16 Bungaree (A)

RD17 Bye

Season highlight: Form in the last month

Season lowlight: RD3 Springbank 6.9.45 def by. Gordon 22.18.150

Leading goal kicker: Zak Bozanich 30 goals

A bye in the last round of the seasons means the Tigers have to win at least one if not both their final games of the season if they want to stay within the top eight. It is a brutal reality but the form they have shown since lockdown 4.0 suggest they may be up for the challenge.

Grade: C

 

Waubra

2021 Record: 6-0-3 (sixth)

Scheduled games to come:

RD15 Newlyn (A)

RD16 Buninyong (H)

RD17 Gordon (A)

Season highlight: Lincoln Barnes development into competitions best midfielder

Season lowlight: Losses in top clashes

Leading goal kicker: Austin Murphy 15 goals

The reigning premiers have slipped to sixth on the ladder with questions around the ‘Roos forward prowess a concern for Matt James. Without a natural spearhead, many are starting to worry if they can challenge the very best in September with their three losses to do date all coming to sides above them on the ladder.

Grade: C

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