MID GIPPSLAND FL
MID Gippsland begins the second part of the season this weekend ahead of what appears will be a competitive nine rounds.
At the halfway stage the pattern has been set and the finals slots look like being filled by the current five place holders, only positions may change.
The top three of Newborough, Yinnar and Mirboo North look safe while fourth and fifth will be a contest between Trafalgar and Boolarra.
For the rest Morwell East has a faint chance while the others have next to none.
The real interest for the bottom four will be how many wins they can rack up.
Yarragon has two, which already equals last season’s effort, Hill End has fallen short of expectations, Thorpdale has pushed all teams without due success and Yallourn Yallourn North is yet to break the ice.
Thorpdale v Morwell East
THORPDALE has a big chance of upsetting Morwell East in a game where pride matters more than respective ladder positions.
Morwell East has played horrible football in two of its past three matches and needs to improve to make any inroads on the five.
Thorpdale has come up with good footy at times but has suffered, like most other clubs, with their better players injured and hard to replace.
The Hawks need to climb out of the pit and start playing to their potential; they have good recruits but are not gelling well, and when they lose they get thumped.
Last encounter: Morwell East 14.8 (92) d Thorpdale 9.14 (68).
YYN v Yarragon
THIS match may be YYN’s chance to avoid a winless season, however Yarragon is riding a high after an unexpected win last week.
Yarragon has the potential to do well and if it continues to play as it did against Morwell East more wins are possible.
Yarragon won first time around and on form should make it twice over the Bombers.
Last encounter: Yarragon 16.9 (105) d YYN 12.9 (81).
Newborough v Mirboo North
THE clash of the round at Newborough pits number one against number three.
A couple of weeks ago Mirboo North, on form, would have gone in as favourites but after its shocker against Trafalgar the odds have fallen back.
Newborough would have been delighted to finish the first half on top and with only one loss it has been a good season so far.
Each game from Saturday takes on a new meaning, where winning is paramount to stay ahead of the pack.Glenn Michie is an astute leader and has led by example with a strong focus on success.
Last outing produced a big win for Newborough, but Mirboo North suffered from Wedding-Gate when 14 seniors went missing.
This time Mirboo North will be more competitive in what should be a close encounter.
Last encounter: Newborough 24.18 (162) d Mirboo North 5.3 (33).
Hill End v Trafalgar
HILL End has a real challenge on its hands in Trafalgar, which would be still on cloud nine after a muddy victory over Mirboo North.
The Hillmen have beaten teams below them on the ladder but against Trafalgar the task is going to be tougher.
The Bloods have everything to gain and stand to keep the pressure on the teams above them.
With only one win over teams above it on the ladder, Trafalgar must consolidate points to keep fourth position.
Last encounter: Trafalgar 17.15 (117) d Hill End 5.6 (36).
Boolarra v Yinnar
BOOLARRA comes up against a big hurdle in Yinnar, its closest neighbour in a game vital for both teams.
The Demons have won their last five games, and boast victory over Trafalgar.
Yinnar is playing top football and will not be giving Boolarra any headway.
It is going to be a battle of wits between the two coaches but Yinnar should have too much firepower for Boolarra.
Last encounter: Yinnar 15.17 (107) d Boolarra 7.7 (49).