Mid Gippsland football fans were treated to an action-packed round last weekend, with some of the top teams being put to the test and having to pull out all stops.
Thorpdale put in a great performance to nudge reigning premier Newborough into fourth place on the ladder and move itself into third spot.
Yinnar and Yallourn/Yallourn North both secured wins to remain first and second, respectively.
The Magpies had a tough match against Hill End but managed to pile on the pressure in the last quarter to emerge victorious.
Morwell East put the Bombers under pressure and it took a lot of hard work for YYN to secure victory in the last quarter.
Mirboo North overcame Trafalgar and finds itself in fifth place, with the Bloods in sixth.
The Hawks are in seventh, while the Hillmen find themselves in eighth.
Yarragon, in ninth, and winless Boolarra, in last place, round out the 10.
YYN v Yinnar
The competition’s two top teams should give their fans plenty to cheer about when they go head-to-head on Saturday at George Bates Reserve for top spot on the ladder.
Both teams were put to the test last weekend, with YYN producing a final-quarter blitz to put Morwell East to the sword.
It took Yinnar until the final quarter to finally shake Hill End in a see-saw match which was delicately poised after the first three terms.
The Magpies took home the victory in the last match-up with the Bombers, but with the home-ground advantage it could be YYN’s turn to take home the win.
Boolarra v Mirboo North
Fresh off its 46-point victory against Trafalgar, Mirboo North will aim to close the gap on fourth-placed Newborough when it travels to Boolarra.
The Demons have struggled this season and are yet to get register premier points after notching up 11 straight losses.
The Tigers are improving with each game and despite the home-ground advantage Boolarra should struggle to get its first win against a team that is performing well at this stage in the season.
Hill End v Yarragon
After pushing Yinnar and Newborough, Hill End will be brimming with confidence as it gears up to host Yarragon on Saturday.
The Hillmen showed sparks of great football against the Magpies last round but seemed to run out of legs in the last quarter.
Yarragon took home the victory against Boolarra but it was a fairly low-scoring affair and the smallest margin against Boolarra this season.
With the home advantage and after putting in a good performance against the ladder leader, Hill End’s third win for the season could come this week.
Newborough v Morwell East
Newborough will target a return to the winners’ list on Saturday when it takes on Morwell East at home.
The Bulldogs had a tough time last round against Thorpdale and struggled to convert their opportunities.
It was the second loss after going down to YYN in the grand final replay the previous week and leaves the reigning premier in fourth place, just behind the Blues on percentage.
Although the Hawks did not manage to get the win against the Bombers on Saturday, they played some great football and put YYN to the test.
Newborough will want to show it is still a contender and spurred on by coach Dean Caldow, the Bulldogs are sure to come out fighting.
Thorpdale v Trafalgar
Thorpdale and Trafalgar will face off for a good cause on Saturday when they take part in AFL Gippsland’s mental health round.
The round aims to raise awareness of mental health issues in sport.
Thorpdale will be on a high since its victory against Newborough at the weekend and will see the home fixture as an opportunity to secure its top-three position.
The Bloods have lost a bit of form of late and struggled in their game against Mirboo North last week.