Home Sport CHFL – Round 14 Preview 2017

CHFL – Round 14 Preview 2017

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It takes some skill to hold onto a mark in the contest and Bungaree tall man Chris Cowan did that against Daylesford.

Bungaree take care of Daylesford

Tim Boyle had a day he will remember in front of goal last Saturday when he booted 11 goals for Waubra in their easy win over the winless Skipton. The result of his big bag of goals is that he has jumped clear in the league goal kicking, the Shane Everard Goal Kicking Award, reaching 48 for the season. He is five goals clear of Gordon’s Ashley Munari and Beaufort’s Jack Duke who each had big day’s themselves last weekend kicking six goals.

Overall it was a round where the goal kickers had their own way in one sided matches. Waubra gave Skipton no respite kicking a massive 43 goals amongst 69 scoring shots.

It was one of the most demonstrative hidings for a couple of years and will make it very tough for the Emus to find any momentum for the rest of the season. For much of the past two seasons Waubra has struggled to find a broad range of goal kickers but on Saturday almost everyone took the opportunity to both get close to goal and then also kick with accuracy. The Kangaroos had 18 different goal kickers a vastly different scenario to just three rounds ago against Springbank, where they had just three who troubled the scorers.

Being able to dominate the lower ranked sides is one of the outcomes of the large number of teams in the CHFL.

When you only get one attempt to defeat each opponent each season if one of the other clubs builds a big percentage in a particular match then all clubs have to strive to do similar.

Percentage very often determines who ends up getting the double chance or making the finals and this year is not shaping any differently. Waubra will be looking to continue this goal scoring form on Saturday when they travel to Creswick. They have one of the poorer percentages of those currently in the top eight and with an easy final three matches and the bye they will be looking to jump ahead of a few teams ahead of them on percentage to maybe sneak into the top four.

Creswick though will be making every effort to build upon a promising effort last week when they stuck with Hepburn for most of the match.

The Wickers were within two goals at three quarter time despite falling short by 30 points at the end of the match.

Whether this was due to a lack lustre Hepburn performance or an inspired effort by Creswick it would have been a game which will give some confidence to the Wickers.

Liam, Aaron and Caleb Hepworth have been the dominant players for Creswick throughout the season with very few weeks when they haven’t featured in the club’s best players. Their commitment to their local club over many years has been equal to anyone else who plays in the CHFL. As this year has progressed though there has been signs that there might be some others who are starting to believe in themselves at senior level and are having a regular impact. Ryan Pompe is starting to live up to the promise he showed as a junior, Rhys Antonio is always in after the contested football and Jack Marshman is another junior who is settling into senior competition.

Coach Ryan Knowles will now be hoping to see the efforts of last week consistently over the last month of the home and away season. The reality is that if Creswick do not play to this level again this week against Waubra, the Kangaroos will be lining up to score freely again. The match of the round is going to be at Bungaree when they host Springbank in a match that could have dramatic outcomes for the shape of the top eight. Bungaree continued their winning form last week defeating Daylesford by five goals with a consistent effort in each quarter. This consistency would have pleased Heath Pyke immensely as the Demons have been able to get away with supreme efforts in one quarter to ensure a win far too often this year to have the coach feeling comfortable. The Demons have shown that they have the ability to match it with almost every team they have played and with just two defeats there is only Springbank better than them and two others in Beaufort and Hepburn. Springbank might be on top of the ladder and four points ahead but just three percentage ahead of Bungaree. A strong performance by Bungaree and Springbank could drop from first to fourth with both Beaufort and Hepburn well ahead of the current leader on percentage. This percentage deficit will be starting to add pressure on the shoulders of the Tigers because they will be well aware of the potential outcome of a loss.

An important return last week for the Springbank was full forward Tom Eltringham whose absence has been noticeable.

The interest though will be in can he regain the form he had early in the season. Nic Couch has been very good in the forward line adding a great deal of pressure on defenders trying to get out of trouble but he is not a big goal kicker.

Bill Driscoll is always dangerous but he also rarely gets more than a couple of goals. Michael Searl will be looking to Eltringham to add four or more majors most weeks in the next month. Bungaree is showing that they have an excellent defence and if they go their clamps on the Tigers they could very easily inflict another defeat on Springbank. A rare Sunday match is also bringing two top eight sides up against each other, Daylesford hosting Gordon in a WorkSafe Game of the Month.

Daylesford are not safe in the eight and with one of their remaining games against the now looming Ballan likely to become worth a virtual eight points, the Bulldogs will be keen to take some pressure off by defeating Gordon. The ruck clash between Daylesford’s Sam Winnard and Gordon duo of Luke Gunnell and Brendan Sutcliffe will be a key battle to gain control.

Victoria Park is a ground where a team can score quickly if they control the mid-field and getting first possession from the ruck can be of more importance than on many grounds. Sebastian Walsh probably had his best game of the year against Bungaree finishing with four goals and giving the Bulldogs some extra potency in the forward line. He is their best forward and if he is coming into form then he could become a thorn in the side of the Gordon defence lead by Mark Gunnell.

A loss for Daylesford could see them drop out of the eight if Learmonth are able to turnaround a horror month of defeats when they meet an improving Ballan. Ballan has a tough finish to the year with matches against Learmonth, Daylesford and Bungaree but if they are able to build upon their improved showing of the past six weeks then they are close enough to still play finals. Ash Mullane has struggled to have an impact on matches until the past three weeks. His improved form is providing Jason McNamara and Darren Tanti additional support and providing more scoring opportunities. This is working well on the smaller Ballan oval where the three are able to get the ball deep into the forward line however at Learmonth they will need more teammates to be running to create the extra link to get the ball deep into attack and set up scoring chances.

The challenge for Learmonth is can they regroup after the battering they have received from teams in the eight? They play their own ground very well and the Lakies smaller midfield brigade should be able to match it with those from Ballan but do their forwards have the confidence to score often enough.

Todd Curran has had a couple of matches where he has proved a handful for defenders and if he can build on two goals last week he might become the crucial player on the ground.

As tough as the last month has been for Learmonth a win this week may see them back in the eight as they have a good percentage advantage over Daylesford. Buninyong were too strong for Learmonth last week with 46 scoring shots in their 119 point win and it has been thought that the two week break which they have enjoyed would bring them back fresh and ready to make a real attack on finals action. It is most likely that this will again be the case when they take on Newlyn this week. Rokewood Corindhap and Skipton dwell on the bottom of the ladder but this will not make them any less intense than a top of the ladder clash, with both hoping to be able to sing their club song at the end of the day. The Grasshoppers look to be more balanced and will get their second win of the year.

Clunes were no match for 11th placed Dunnstown last week and it will potentially be even worse when they face Beaufort who have been dominant in recent weeks. Unfortunately for Carngham Linton it looked as though Hepburn had their off week against Creswick and they will come out ready to hand out a significant defeat to the home team.

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