Saints fight to avoid hat-trick

May 31, 2024 BY

Gun: Heathcote co-captain Liam Jacques wins a contest against Colbinabbin. Photo: SAA IMAGING.

HEATHCOTE will fight to avoid a hat-trick of defeats when it tackles Huntly in this Saturday’s ninth round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL senior footy action.

Defeat in three of its past four contests has upped the pressure on Saints’ coach Andrew Saladino and the team.

Third on the premiership ladder, Heathcote is back on home turf at Pigeon Park in Barrack Reserve for the 2.15pm start.

The Saints were thrashed by the Winslow White Hills Demons in last Saturday’s away game at Winslow Constructors Oval.

A 15-goal deficit was not what many league followers would have tipped.

Although it’s missing several key players, Heathcote still has plenty who were part of last year’s run to the grand final in action.

A dozen players who represented Heathcote in last September’s grand final against Mount Pleasant took on White Hills last Saturday.

Among them were gun forward Corey Grindlay, Sam Cheatley medallist and gun on-baller Liam Jacques, hard-running co-captain Codie Price, and defenders Rhys Bolton and Bill Direen.

Callum and Liam Birch, Ben Connelly, Connor Hamilton, Henry McCarthy, Mitch McLean, Billy Price also played in the ’23 grand final and faced the red-hot Demons last Saturday.

The Saints also recruited ruckman James Orr and key defender Daniel Johnstone who have performed well across the opening seven matches.

Orr was captain at Kyneton, and Johnstone a key cog at South Bendigo.

Another newcomer is key forward Cooper Webber-Mirkin from Trentham.

The Saints eagerly await the return of playmaker Braden Padmore and versatile big man Lachlan Freeman Taber.

Beat the Hamish Morcom-coached Harlowe Huntly Hawks and the Saints reach the halfway mark of the home-and-away series on a win-loss tally of five-three.

Another loss and Heathcote will be overtaken by the winner of the Leitchville-Gunbower and Mount Pleasant match being played at Gunbower.

In other matches across the Heathcote DFNL, North Bendigo will be home at Bendigo Club Oval in Atkins Street to take on Colbinabbin.As it marks its 150th year, Elmore will aim to break its winless run when it hosts Lockington Bamawm United.White Hills has the bye.