Pride on the line as Hillmen prepare for Bloods

IT is shaping up to be a predictable round 16 of matches in Mid Gippsland football apart from the Hill End versus Trafalgar match for the Balfour Trophy.

In the corresponding match earlier in the season Trafalgar cracked it for a win, but since that meeting Hill End has disposed of Yarragon, which in turn beat the Bloods.

Both teams have endured thumpings throughout the season so far, but they could be in for a close one on Saturday.

Hill End would love to hand the wooden spoon to Trafalgar, but it will need to play at its peak.

ON the back of two successive defeats Morwell East will need to rediscover some form with the finals just around the corner.

The Hawks are assured of playing in the elimination final but aren’t likely to go much further without lifting to another level.

Last time they beat Mirboo North but the Tigers have form on their side and can be a real threat to top team Newborough.

Mirboo North has been playing top football, winning its last three matches, and relishes coming up against teams that make them work hard.

The Tigers should win but can’t take the East too lightly.

YALLOURN-Yallourn North is home again against Yarragon and can expect to work hard for a win.

The Panthers are buoyant about their high scoring win over Trafalgar last week, which gave them five for the season.

It marks their best return in two years and bodes well for the remainder of the fixture.

YYN is entrenched in the final five but will be approaching its next three matches with a must-win attitude to spring into finals.

The Bombers should win but Yarragon will be no pushover.

NEIGHBOURS Yinnar and Boolarra clash in what is an important match for last year’s premier.

Yinnar has had a lop-sided season with some poor results but should be too good for a struggling Boolarra.

The key for the Magpies is the bevy of youngsters who have stepped up this season to keep them in contention.

The Demons have been disappointing and, like other clubs, injuries to top players have had a disastrous effect.

Yinnar goes in as favourite but should be wary of Boolarra, a side known to upset top teams.

THOPRDALE has a huge task to tame the Bulldogs, who are playing superb football at the moment.

Coach Dean Caldow has his charges fighting fit and they are certainties for a good dip at the premiership.

With 13 successive wins the Doggies should continue to outplay and beat the opposition with pressure football.

Newborough is a capable team with players able to switch positions without upsetting the balance.

Thorpdale had chances earlier to make the finals but has faded in recent weeks.

Newborough will rack up a good score against the Blues to continue their onslaught towards a flag.

Morwell East and YYN will wear black armbands in respect to the recent death of Ken Healey, who coached both sides.

Ken led the Bombers to their 1972 premiership.

He was remembered as a strong, versatile player and a respected coach.

His funeral was held last Monday and was attended by many former players and officials of both clubs.

Yarragon v YYN

Played: 63 (YYN 46, Yarragon 16, drawn 1)

Last time: YYN 14.11 (95) d Yarragon 4.3 (27)

Newborough v Thorpdale

Played: 112 (Newborough 71, Thorpdale 40, drawn 1)

Last time: Newborough 11.9 (75) d Thorpdale 7.13 (55)

Trafalgar v Hill End

Played: 98 (Trafalgar 81, Hill End 17)

Last time: Trafalgar 11.11 (77) d Hill End 10.9 (69)

Balfour Trophy Match

Yinnar v Boolarra

Played: 159 (Yinnar 119, Boolarra 37, drawn 3)

Last time: Yinnar 13.5 (83) d Boolarra 11.8 (74)

Mirboo North v Morwell East

Played: 93 (Morwell East 47, Mirboo North 46)

Last time: Morwell East 12.10 (82) d Mirboo North 10.9 (69)