Thirteen different Hepburn goal kickers means that the Lakies will need to have everyone fully focused if they are going to keep themselves in the game long enough to put some pressure back on the opposition. Probably the best CHFL player over the past decade Andy McKay started the season in fine form. The strength of the tags that McKay has had to deal with in recent years has at times made it difficult for him to consistently have an impact but recruiting may have addressed this with the addition of the strong bodied Ferraro brothers, Jason and Ricky.
Hepburn should be too strong for Learmonth which is still a developing group that will be around the edge of the top eight again this year.
Beaufort was too strong for Daylesford who appears to be a little way off their best at this stage. For the Crows the performances of new recruits and returning locals were very pleasing. Scott Howard and Jacob Ewart gave the midfield of Lachlan Pfeifer, Alex Petrie and Michael Foster a great target up forward with seven goals between them. The is no doubt that Beaufort look to be a stronger outfit than in recent years but this will be tested to the full extent on Saturday when they face Springbank at Wallace. Last year’s runner up swept aside Dunnstown in round one with Paul McMahon, Michael Searl, Bill Driscoll and Joel Maher all starting the season in fine form. At the least Beaufort would be hoping to come away satisfied that they were able to match the Tigers for most of the match, but a victory is unlikely. Another potential improver is Newlyn, which had dropped away significantly last year.
Their 28 goal victory over Smythesdale included a massive 13 goals by Will Young, who appears to be starting the season fully fit and potentially the most potent mobile forward in the competition. They have a really good opportunity to start off with two wins when they host Dunnstown this week. Each of these clubs have added some experienced, well performed players from other leagues and it promises to be a very close encounter. The form of Daniel Wehrung and Nathan Skewes through the midfield will mean that Dunnstown’s Sam Jenkins, Jaye Cahir and Karl Begbie will need to put in a full four quarter performance to get their first win of the year. Skipton were not able to match it with Rokewood Corindhap last week and will be looking for an improved effort in the home game against Smythesdale. The Bulldogs are still looking for their first win in more than two seasons and this week is probably one of the games which they need to throw everything into this endeavour.
Both clubs were able to defend well for periods last week but the ability to retain possession for long enough to score consistently proved beyond them. Waubra, Gordon and Buninyong all should prove too strong for Rokewood Corindhap, Carngham Linton and Daylesford in other matches on Saturday.
Buninyong 3.2, 6.5, 9.6, 12.7 (79)
Learmonth 2.3, 6.4, 6.6, 7.9 (51)
GOALS, Buninyong: J. Morgan 3, G. Phelps 2, J. Robertson 2, J. Renga 1, C. Wills 1, N. Gilbert 1, A. Scott 1, S. Turner 1
Learmonth: P. McGuigan 3, T. Curran 2, T. Niddrie 1, N. Bone 1
BEST, Buninyong: A. Wiltshire, J. Morgan, N. Gilbert, J. Renga, N. Shell, K. Terry
Learmonth: D. George, D. Wright, R. Barnes, E. Sinnott, B. Beks, J. Werts