HEATHCOTE’S senior football side had a disastrous start to the Heathcote District Football league season — losing by 136 points and having star recruit Codie Price stretchered from the ground late in the game.
Price sustained concussion after his arms were pinned in a tackle and the forward momentum driving him head first into the ground.
He was taken to hospital following the incident to undergo testing, where he was released around 8pm on Saturday night.
Heathcote coach Wayne Primmer said Price may be available for action following the Easter break when his side takes on Colbinabbin.
The Saints have the bye this weekend and will need the time off to regroup after succumbing to a heavy defeat at the hands of LBU.
Travelling to Lockington to face a red-hot Cats combination was always going to be a great challenge. Boasting a powerful forward line, LBU was always going to be a good test of the young Saints’ combination as they begin their year of rebuilding.
The Cats jumped out of the blocks early to establish a quick three-goal lead, but from that point Heathcote steadied the ship and a couple of dashing sets of play saw them take the ball from end to end.
Heathcote was hampered by the loss of Tom Pain at the 15-minute mark. In fact, a number of players played out the game injured as the Saints had no bench to interchange.
LBU was too strong around the ball and their ability to lift their hands above the Saints tacklers allowed them to keep the ball moving forward.
On the other hand, the Heathcote players will need to learn how to keep their hands free from a tackle.
The second term was similar with LBU kicking six goals to Heathcote’s two.
At this stage Luke Bell was keeping the dangerous Lachlan Collins under control but the defenders were always under the pump.
A combination of running out of players and perhaps some old habits saw an unsatisfactory second half from the Saints.
As in previous seasons there were patches of positive play, but too few put their hand up in the last half.
Recruits Dylan Robinson and Price demonstrated they are great pick-ups for the club and Bell used his experience to good effect on a difficult opponent.
Over the summer a committed core of players worked hard on improving their fitness, something that some other players will need to catch up on.
It is always hard facing power teams in early matches because one-sided results make it easy for the detractors to criticise.
However, the form of youngsters such as Jordan Marcroft who really competed strongly in the ruck in the second half is what we should be focusing on.
Coach Primmer has a bigger picture in sight but in order to achieve that all players need to take on board the work rate of sides such as LBU and apply those standards to our play.
The continued effort we put in now will bear fruit as the season progresses.
■ THE inability of the A grade team to score goals held it back last year and it was a key area for coach Lorrae Closter to fix.
On the weekend, the Cats and Saints played out an even game of netball and although leading for most of the game, the visitors stumbled at the final hurdle to lose by two goals.
With Closter dominating in the centre the Saints were able to move the ball up and down the court quickly to the waiting arms of the new look forward line.
Linda Powell and Alice Laidlaw rewarded the hard work of the mid court and the scoring was even.
At the other end of the court, Kyra McCulloch and Chan Whiting did not allow the Cats goalies any freedom and their strength under the ring created many turnovers.
While the Cats triumphed, Closter is positive about what she saw on the weekend and we look forward to celebrating victories this year.