IT WAS another tough day at the office for Heathcote’s senior football side on Saturday, crashing to a 98-point defeat at home to North Bendigo.
With so many regular starters missing from the team, Saints coach Luke Bell and his charges were always going to struggle against the powerful Bulldogs combination in their Heathcote and District Football League match-up.
The opening quarter was a repeat of the season so far with a poor start giving North Bendigo a free rein.
Fortunately for the Saints, the Bulldogs did not take full advantage of their dominance and only scored 4.11.
It was a far more determined Saints effort in the second term and they made North work hard for every goal.
The effort of the team must be recognised given they had lost three players before half-time, leaving them with only one player on the bench.
Despite these challenges the team continued to force North to work harder than they had expected with Dillon Hardy and Jonty Kelly tremendous in defence.
Dan Russell used his height and pace at every opportunity and he forced North to go wide in their efforts to kick goals.
His dashing runs out of defence and work around the ground when rucking saw him awarded the best Saints player on the day.
Darcy McLean has enjoyed an outstanding year and he was a four quarter contributor, using his pace and dash to great effect.
Tom Pain has also enjoyed a great year and his pace and strength around the packs gave the Saints some bite at ground level.
The Saints are fast running out of fit players but will steel themselves for the big clash with Elmore this Saturday before enjoying a week off due to the bye.