LORNE footballer Lochie Donne is likely to return to the Geelong Falcons for this weekend’s do-or-die semi-final against the Eastern Ranges.
The skilful ruckman missed last weekend’s qualifying final loss to minor premiers North Ballarat Roosters, 16.15 (111) to 15.9 (99) due to a concussion the week before.
Fellow Colac district ruckman Sean Darcy also missed the clash due to a back injury, leaving Birregurra forward Zach Zdybel to take on the ruckwork.
Falcons coach Andrew Allthorpe said Darcy was unlikely to return this weekend.
“Zach Zdybel played a bit up forward but also in the ruck because Lochie Donne didn’t play due to concussion, and Sean couldn’t get through training on Thursday,” he said.
“We had to be cautious with Lochie, he didn’t pull up too well but hopefully he’ll be right next week.
“Zach competed well in his absence, he really gives his all every week.”
The Falcons will aim for a more consistent performance at Carlton’s Ikon Park this weekend after surrendering a 30-point lead in the second quarter on Saturday.
The Rebels booted 12 goals to six in the second half to overrun the Falcons and earn an early spot in next weekend’s preliminary finals.
Zdybel finished with seven touches and 16 hit-outs, while Winchelsea’s Darcy Parish, 27 disposals and seven tackles, was also among Geelong’s best players.
Colac’s Ben McCarthy racked up 15 disposals in the win.
“It was a game of two halves,” Allthorpe said.
“We dominated the start, but in the second half they won the initial stoppages and got their game style going with a bit of momentum,” he said.
The Eastern Ranges will play in the semi-final after winning their elimination final against Calder Cannons, 17.8 (110) to 11.10 (76).
The Ranges and the Falcons drew in their most recent meeting in round 14.