LG and Perri both going for the glory

July 17, 2017

Lee Pollock of Leitchville Gunbower and Thomas Bourke of Heathcote during the HDFNL seniors match between Leitchville Gunbower and Heathcote. Photo by Luke Hemer.

Oliver O'Shea of Leitchville Gunbower during the HDFNL seniors match between Leitchville Gunbower and Heathcote. Photo by Luke Hemer.

Matthew Perri of Leitchville Gunbower and Louis Piccolo of Heathcote during the HDFNL seniors match between Leitchville Gunbower and Heathcote. Photo by Luke Hemer.

LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER handed out another thrashing on Saturday in round 14 of Heathcote and District Football League action.

The Bombers have been in blistering form in recent weeks, putting a number of lower-ranked teams to the sword by monstrous margins.

And they delivered again against Heathcote with a whopping 33.20 (218) to 5.3 (33) win.

The Bombers have scored a remarkable 633 points in their last three games, outscoring their opponents by 543 in that span.

LG coach Matt Hawken said his side had seen off an early Heathcote challenge to record yet another fantastic win.

‘‘It was a good contest early, in the first quarter they certainly came to play,’’ he said.

‘‘We got on top in the second half of the first quarter and we really got going in the second with nine goals.

‘‘With Daniel Couwenberg out, Ayden Walton captained the side and he was outstanding. He was selfless and inspired the boys to play like that.’’

HDFL leading goalkicker Matthew Perri all but sealed the title for 2017 and moved well within reach of the 100-goal milestone with 13 goals in the win.

Perri has now kicked 84 goals in 12 games, 34 more than the Heathcote league’s next best in Brady Herdman.

‘‘It was the Matt Perri Show in the second half, he had four until half-time but kicked 6.2 in the third,’’ Hawken said.

‘‘He was phenomenal, he kicked about five goals in 10 minutes.’’

Hawken said Perri’s dominance overshadowed equally impressive performances from a host of players, including Walton, Jack Dye, Jackson McEwen, Matt Ladson and Matt Pollock.

LG made a positive start to lead by 26 points at quarter-time, but lifted further in the second term to pile on nine goals, 83 points ahead by the half.

Heathcote only managed a solitary behind in the second and third quarters combined and it was simply no match for the powerful LG line-up.

The Bombers hit top gear in the third quarter with a massive 12.5 (77) return, 159 points ahead at the final break. The damage could have been even worse with LG wasting a number of chances in the last quarter with 6.8 (44) for the period.

The Saints finally found some of the football and converted up forward with three final-quarter goals to keep the margin under the 200-point mark.

‘‘We were on top everywhere after quarter-time, the first 15 to 20 minutes they played with good pressure,’’ Hawken said. ‘‘Certainly in these games you need to maintain the pressure, that’s what the good sides do and we did that.

‘‘A few guys were down but maybe 19 of our players played above the level we asked of them and that makes for a big win.’’

Perri’s 13 led the way up forward but he had plenty of support, Ayden Walton bagging seven goals with Jack Dye kicking another five.

The Bombers remain just one win behind North Bendigo who top the HDFL ladder, with their eyes towards the massive round 16 showdown between the two rivals. But first they must play Huntly, who have impressed this season with a 7-5 record.

Hawken said the side, crippled by injuries through the first half of 2017, was nearing full-strength.

‘‘It’s very close, since round one we’ve been nowhere near full-strength but we’ve got nothing serious now,’’ he said. ‘‘Dan Meroli will be back and we’ve got a few niggles so we’ll see if they will come up.

‘‘Hopefully in the next month we’ll get everyone back and get some games into their legs.’’

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