FIVE North Gippsland clubs will bid farewell to the 2015 season at the conclusion of this weekend’s 18th round.
Four have been resigned to their fate for weeks, but one will go kicking and screaming into the void.
Saturday’s concluding round will be a pseudo-elimination final for four sides who will fight it out for the final remaining two places in the top five.
Four points separate third-placed Traralgon Tyers United from three sides stuck together on 44 points.
Heyfield leads the three-way tie by 37.11 per cent from last year’s premier Churchill in sixth, with Yarram wedged in between.
As fate would have it TTU and Heyfield will meet this week, while Yarram too meets one of the competition’s top of the table sides as each seeks to determine its own destiny.
YARRAM will be hungry to retain what has been a one handed grip on the top five in its second NGFNL season with a win over Sale City.
“We will be going about it hoping for a win of course,” Demons coach Anthony Pavey said.
“We hope to have a few come back, David Clavarino and Clint Staley had a run in the reserves on the weekend, we will welcome back Trek Davis who has been in great form and are hoping that Ryan Coulthard will also be in contention.”
Meeting the Dogs has been a tough assignment for any side this season and Yarram must address its consistency levels in the big matches to stand a chance.
“The Churchill game we threw away, we need to bring consistency to our game for four quarters instead of two and a half, or in the instance of the Churchill game three and a half quarters,” Pavey said.
“We need to stick to our game plan from now on. All the games are finals for us.”
Also high on Pavey’s agenda will be the side’s inaccuracy in front of goal, which was almost fatal last weekend.
“We nearly kicked ourselves out of the contest last Saturday with our inaccuracy, we duffed our kicks a bit, our shots on goal were terrible,” Pavey said.
Sharp shooter Corbin Sutherland went onto register five majors but he missed two early, which Pavey noted was not common for one of his key forwards.
“We will need to stop their run at all costs, in turn we will look to our key forwards to have a major impact and will keep in close check their danger man David Piasente and look to restrict Hayden Burgiel’s run off the half back line,” Pavey said.
GLENGARRY will play host to a Churchill side teetering on the brink of missing finals and in need of a big percentage boosting victory.
The Cougars will be hungry to bounce back from a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Rosedale and give themselves a chance to defend the title.
Churchill’s percentage will need a considerable shot in the arm and could prove the difference in finals calculations.
With that in mind there will be little let up for the Magpies defence, which buckled under Heyfield’s relentless rampage in recent weeks.
HEYFIELD will be desperate to fend off third place TTU and sneak into the finals series.
The Bombers too have everything to play for, as a loss loosens the side’s grasp on the double chance.
TTU produced an upset in their earlier encounter this year, downing the Kangaroos on their home turf by 27 points.
On that day in-form Brian Graham did the damage and the Bombers will look for more from their danger man who comes into the game on the back of a 10 goal best on ground performance.
ROSEDALE all but shored up the minor premiership and a week’s respite come the first week of finals last week, and host seventh placed Cowwarr looking to seal the deal.
Claiming a comfortable 123-point win over Cowwarr in their earlier encounter, the Saints will need to put in a strong sustained four quarter effort if they are to cause an upset against the competition’s number one ranked side.
The Saints have shown that they can match it with the front runners, but their backline will be put under the microscope against the Blues.
The back six will need the support of the midfield to hold the likes of Jack Tatterson, Dale Fleming, Luke Stuckey and Brad Caldwell at bay.
DESPITE the sides’ rankings, the stage is set for an entertaining contest when Gormandale plays host to foe from over the hill Woodside.
Sitting at the tail end of the premiership ladder, this week’s opponents have each recorded four wins to date and will be eager to one-up the other in the final standings.
Both teams come into the contest having sustained hefty defeats to the competition’s second and third ranked sides.
Gormandale is looking to atone for its 94 point thumping by Sale City, while the Wildcats will need to refocus after a 22 goal thrashing by TTU.