Saints wary of LG’s ability

May 10, 2024 BY
Heathcote vs Leitchville Gunbower Football

Best afield: Liam Jacques was outstanding for the Saints last weekend at Elmore. Photo: FILE

HEATHCOTE faces a big test on home turf at Pigeon Park when it meets Leitchville Gunbower in Saturday’s sixth round of the Bendigo Bank Heathcote DFNL senior footy action.

Saints’ coach Andrew Saladino said a four-quarter effort would be a must to beat the Bombers.

“They are a really capable team,” Saladino said.

A four-one record has Heathcote in third place in the premiership race.

The Shannon Keam-coached Bombers are on the fifth rung, locked on eight premiership points with Lockington Bamawm United.

“There is a lot of talent in the Leitchville Gunbower team,” Saladino said. “Our match against them halfway through last season was really close.”

After a disastrous start to the campaign, LG fought back to qualify for the ’23 finals series.

“We are looking forward to this contest and against a team which can score quickly,” Saladino said. “It’s important we start well.”

Stung by a 10-goal loss to North Bendigo in round three, Heathcote hit back to win last Saturday’s match at Elmore by 64 points.

It was Past Players Day for Elmore as the Bloods mark their 150th year. The Saints started strongly to score 4.4 to 1.2 in the first quarter.

“Our conversion in the second was not great,” Saladino said of a 1.6 tally.

“We worked incredibly hard to set up chances, but just did not capitalise.”

A high-scoring third quarter went Heathcote’s way, 39-32. The Saints slammed on 5.8 and kept the Bloods scoreless in the last to complete a 117-53 victory.

Heathcote’s dominance was reflected in the scoring shots, 37 to 13.

“It was not a windy day, we just missed a few shots on goal that we should have made,” Saladino said.

Gun on-baller and last season’s Sam Cheatley medallist as league fairest and best, Liam Jacques was best afield for the Saints.

“Liam’s had a great start to the season. The on-ballers are often getting first use of the footy from Jimmy Orr’s ruckwork and Liam has kicked at least one goal in every game,” Saladino said.

The Saints are likely to regain key defender Bill Direen for Saturday’s contest with the Bombers.