Ladder leaders showdown

Liam Durkin

BARRING a draw, one team will remain undefeated on top of the East Gippsland football ladder on Saturday, when Boisdale-Briagolong and Lindenow clash in round seven.

Both sides have been the dominant teams in the competition so far in 2019, and spectators attending Boisdale Recreation Reserve will be hoping for a contest befitting the occasion.

The fixturing of this match is a football purist’s dream, as the winner will take a justifiable position atop the competition ladder, taking knowledge in the fact they have defeated everyone as the fixture completes a full circle before going back to the start next week.

Choosing a winner based on statistics in this contest proves a challenge, as both the Bombers and Cats are largely inseparable in all departments.

Both boast percentages of more than 200, and both have conceded fewer than 300 points in the six matches played this season. A tipster with limited conviction may lean toward a Bombers victory, simply for the fact the game will be played on Boisdale-Briagolong’s home deck and that the Bombers have demonstrated an ability to put teams away quickly, as demonstrated by their nine-goal second quarter against Stratford in round three and six-goal opening term against Wy Yung last week.

If Lindenow is to upset the locals, the Cats will have to ensure that their defence remains intact, and continue to play with the confidence that has served them well so far this season.

PAYNESVILLE and Stratford will clash in an intriguing match.

The Gulls have squandered a few games so far, while the Swans have begun to play more complete football in the last two weeks and appear to be Boisdale-Briagolong and Lindenow’s main challengers.

A win to Paynesville will see it keep within touching distance of the top four, and the side will feel reasonably confident of securing the points on its home deck.

Stratford will be looking to post another big score and continue to breath down the throat of the top two teams, and will be reassured by the fact it cannot drop lower than outright third on the ladder regardless of what happens in other matches.

TWO teams on equal points will meet when Lucknow hosts Lakes Entrance in a game both sides will be entering with ‘must-win’ attitudes in mind.

Currently sitting on two wins each, the Magpies and Seagulls make up a logjam of four teams occupying positions between four and seven on the ladder.

Lakes Entrance got its groove back last week, defeating Paynesville and will be eager to secure back-to-back wins.

Coach James Gibbs has been in stellar form and will be looking for teammates to step up and help out. The former Bairnsdale spearhead has booted 16 goals so far this season and has also featured in the best players on all but one occasion.

Lucknow’s season has been filtered with a number of honourable losses, so the Magpies will be looking for greater consistency of effort, and will see this match as a vitally important one in the context of their season.

ORBOST-Snowy Rovers will play Wy Yung in a game that will present the Blues with a chance to claim their first win for the season.

The Blues have had a tough few weeks, culminating in player shortages across the board, but continue to fight the good fight.

It has not all been bad news for the Blues, with the under 18 side currently sitting third on the ladder. The senior hierarchy may face little choice but to inject some youth and enthusiasm into the first grade team to try and find that elusive win.

If Wy Yung is serious about competing this season, it should win this match and win comfortably, although the Tigers cannot afford to take their opponents lightly, and will have to ensure they are on the ball from the opening bounce if it is to get the points.