Two of Mid Gippsland’s best teams go head-to-head when Morwell East face off against Yallourn-Yallourn North on Saturday.
The Hawks have shown they have the ability to pace it with the big boys with wins over Yinnar and Mirboo North.
Morwell East’s big test will come against the Bombers this weekend, who are a big, strong side.
Both teams have a good mix of small and tall players and there should be some good matchups.
YYN will be without Campbell Macinnes who may miss the rest of the season with injury.
Morwell East’s big worry is how to curb Dean Macdonald, the league’s leading goal-kicker, who will be an unknown not having previously played against the Hawks.
A worthy game between two of the heavyweights of the competition with a possible winner hard to pick, but YYN may sneak in by a close margin.
Hill End and Thorpdale share a long history and this season both are playing below their true potential.
The Blues have won two of their eight matches and victory against Hill End could provide much-needed confidence going into the second half of the season.
The Hillmen would love to break through for its opening victory of the season.
A big effort is needed for Hill End to claw its way off the bottom of the ladder and while the spirit is strong, it needs to score more than seven goals a match.
Thorpdale should win, but Hill End could prove to be a tough competitor.
IT has been a hard opening half of the year for Yarragon, however things could be on the mend as it prepares to play its final home game away due to ground upgrades.
The Panthers have equalled last year’s win tally and are hopeful of getting more on the board to create a realistic challenge for a finals berth.
On the other hand Newborough has had a good season so far and sits on top of the ladder with only the one defeat.
Bulldogs coach Dean Caldow has Newborough moving along nicely at present with plenty of options around the forward line.
It possesses the toughest defence in the competition allowing through, on average, seven goals per match.
Overall history is on Newborough’s side and Saturday should not be any different.
Yarragon has not defeated the Bulldogs since 2012 and on form Newborough should make it six-in-a-row against the Panthers.
Another top notch match with plenty at stake, both are in positions that belie their talent, Yinnar started the season well but two losses in succession brought a sudden shift downwards but on equal terms with Mirboo North who have show the better percentage.
These two will finish top five and over the next ten weeks it’s going to be interesting as to where they eventually finish. Mirboo North will miss Jack Robertson who has a ACL injury which will put him out for the season.
Both teams have exciting new players and this should go to the wire with perhaps Yinnar just getting the points.
In the 99th game between Trafalgar and Boolarra history suggests the Bloods could notch up another victory.
However, the Demons will be out to step off the second bottom rung and reverse last year’s result against Trafalgar.
It has been a frustrating season for both teams, but Trafalgar has shown it has players returning and could put on a better effort in the latter part of the season.
Boolarra has lost its past six matches and can ill afford to lose another at the halfway point of the season.
This could go down to the wire with Boolarra possibly just crossing the line.
Morwell East (2nd) v Yallourn-Yallourn North (3rd)
Games played: 69 | YYN 37, Morwell East 31, drawn 1
Last time: YYN 19.17 (131) d Morwell East 5.4 (34)
Hill End (10th) v Thorpdale (7th)
Games played: 153 | Thorpdale 89, Hill End 63, drawn 1
Last time: Thorpdale 20.17 (137) d Hill End 10.8 (68)
Yarragon (6th) v Newborough (1st)
Games played: 68 | Newborough 53, Yarragon 14, drawn 1
Last time: Newborough 17.8 (110) d Yarragon 8.8 (56)
Mirboo North (4th) v Yinnar (5th)
Games played: 110 | Yinnar 63, Mirboo North 46
Last time: Yinnar 19.11 (125) d Mirboo North 9.4 (58)
Trafalgar (8th) v Boolarra (9th)
Games played: 98 | Trafalgar 88, Boolarra 10
Last time: Trafalgar 20.18 (138) d Boolarra 4.3 (27)