Challenge for Churchill

CHURCHILL is set to be tested when it hosts Rosedale in a match which is paramount in deciding the Cougars’ end of season fortunes.

The match will put the teams in fifth and second places on the North Gippsland football ladder.

Cougars coach Tim Darby knows his side will need to be at its best over the next fortnight as it will meet two of last year’s finalists. Churchill must win tomorrow’s clash against the Blues to further confirm its hold on a top five finish.

There is more than just the four points at stake with the Cougars struggling throughout the season to claim the scalp of an opponent which sits above them on the ladder. A win would boost their confidence as the competition moves into the pointy end of the season.

In contrast, the Blues continue to impress.

Filling the void of injuries throughout the season, Rosedale demonstrates why it is again being touted as the premiership dark horse.

It will take an almighty effort for the Cougars to defeat the Blues, whose season continues to gain momentum.

In their last encounter the two sides were locked in a fierce battle before the Blues powered away with a 10-goal third term on their way to a comprehensive 50-point victory.

The Cougars can ill afford to again give Rosedale the luxury of breaking away and dictating the match on its terms.

AT Heyfield, Woodside will look to regain the early season form which has eluded it during the second half of the season.

The Wildcats will need to rebound from last week’s defeat to Churchill.

Meeting the premiers on their home turf is a daunting prospect for the seventh-placed Wildcats, however, the match will be a true indication as to where they are at.

Sitting one game clear of their nearest rivals, many would concede the premiers appear to have this year’s minor premiership sewn up, however, those in the Kangaroos’ inner sanctum would argue the side’s form over the past month has been far than impressive.

Tomorrow’s clash will provide an opportunity for the Kangaroos’ coaching panel to assess how well the side is travelling as it comes against a side which earlier in the season appeared on track for their its finals appearance since 2009.

COWWARR will be out to maintain its stranglehold on fourth position when it hosts Sale City.

With more than the four points on the line, the Saints will be eager to seal their eighth win of the season ahead of next week’s showdown against Heyfield.

The Bulldogs can draw plenty from their performance against Heyfield last weekend, when they tested the Kangaroos for three quarters. If they can carry that form into tomorrow’s match at the smaller Cowwarr ground, the Bulldogs may have the legs to run out the game and push the Saints to the final siren.

TRARALGON-TYERS United will host Boisdale-Briagolong in the battle of the Bombers.

Last Saturday, TTU became the first side in more than a month to knock over Glengarry in a season-defining performance.

The win may be a turning point in TTU’s season as it fights hard to snare a top three finish and an opportunity to take part in the finals for the first time since claiming the silverware in 2004.

Impressive in the opening half of its contest against the Saints, Boisdale-Briagolong faded away after the main change and can’t afford to repeat that tomorrow or it will quickly find itself on the end of a drubbing.

Boisdale-Briagolong will need its key play makers to stand tall as it aims to improve the win-loss ledger.

ON Sunday, Gormandale will host Glengarry, who is coming off its first loss in six rounds.

With their wings clipped against third-placed TTU, the Magpies will be keen to reverse the side’s round five result against Gormandale.

The Magpies’ hold on a finals berth is reliant on their performance over the coming month with matches against Churchill and Rosedale to follow.

The Tigers have impressed in recent weeks, holding commanding leads against Churchill and Rosedale before being overrun.

Regardless of the sides’ ladder positions, the Sunday showdown is always fiercely contested.