NORTH GIPPSLAND FL
Close to nine weeks ago the North Gippsland footy clash between Rosedale and Churchill was a one sided affair.
Blues marksman Andrew Flanagan fired away in front of goal in his side’s 60-point victory.
However, past results will count for nothing on Saturday, with the same result highly unlikely given the Cougars’ form over the past month.
It was not until round three that Churchill provided new coach Allan Chandler with his opening win, but fastforward three months and much has changed.
From a poor start to the season, the Cougars have elevated themselves into the top five to sit in outright fourth, poised to cement their place in the finals equation.
In contrast, the Blues perched themselves at the top of the table through a barnstorming opening month and appear on track for a prized double chance come season end.
Rosedale has won its past five matches on the run while the Cougars have claimed three straight with an average margin of 96 points.
Little separates the sides on paper.
Both line-ups boast solid back six lines which have held their own in past rounds against formidable opposition.
Power forwards Rosedale’s Andrew Flanagan and Churchill’s Brad Knowles, who has booted 15 majors in his last four outings, will be eager to fire in front of goal, while the duel between the engine rooms is sure to enthral with both sides boasting marquee midfielders.
Last time: Rosedale 23.12 (150) d Churchill 13.10 (88).
Heyfield v Glengarry
HAVING claimed the honours in the round one grand final replay, Heyfield will again host the return clash with Glengarry, which remains a shadow of its 2013 champion team.
Desperate to return to winning ways, Glengarry threw all it had at Yarram in the final term last Saturday to fall agonisingly short of breaking a two-game losing streak.
It has been a lean season for the eighth-placed premier, now at risk of missing a September chance to defend the title.
In contrast the Kangaroos continue to gain momentum and booted 19 of their 25 goals in a blistering second half against Gormandale.
While tested in several clashes, the number one ranked side’s ability to power away from the opposition is second to none.
With clashes against third-placed Sale City and nemesis Rosedale in the coming month, the Kangaroos will be eager to finetune their skills and line-up in preparation.
Last time: Heyfield 23.19 (157) d Glengarry 13.8 (86).
Gormandale v Sale City
GORMANDALE coach Luke Henderson will be looking to minimise skill errors and increase work rates to ensure a competitive outing against one of the competition front runners.
Impressing in the opening half of last week’s clash against Heyfield, the Tigers faded away after half-time as the effects of a tough month took a toll.
There will be no respite against Sale City, refreshed from the bye.
The competition’s biggest improver, the Dogs, have their tails wagging and over confident having already doubled last season’s win tally by the halfway mark.
Sitting equal on points with Rosedale, this week’s result is crucial for Sale City with a chance to break away.
Last time: Sale City 12.13 (85) d Gormandale 11.13 (79).
TTU v Yarram
TRARALGON Tyers United will be out to restore pride at home to Yarram, which recorded its first win on the road over Glengarry.
Holding on in an enthralling final quarter, the Demons will be confident of another away victory.
With their end of season ambitions hinging on the results of coming weeks, the Demons will be aiming to make it two in a row against an unpredictable Bomber outfit. With a win-loss ledger of 5-5, Yarram sits in the five, 18 percentage points clear of Cowwarr which it faces in a fortnight.
Last time: Yarram 15.8 (98) d TTU 12.10 (82).
Woodside v Bois/Briag
WOODSIDE’S clash this week is an eight-point game.
Claiming the honours in their earlier encounter, the Wildcats are aware Boisdale/Briagolong is no easybeat.
Sitting alongside Cowwarr, the Wildcats will make a push for the highly sought after fifth position on the premiership ladder standings, currently occupied by neighbour and long-time foe Yarram.
Boasting a superior percentage to that of Cowwarr and two points shy of Yarram, the Wildcats will be desperate for a win and hope TTU can topple the Demons.
But before then the Wildcats must hold the Bombers at bay, a side that proved stiff competition in round one.
Last time: Woodside 17.10 (112) d Boisdale/Briagolong 13.3 (81)
Cowwarr has the bye.