Blues, Bombers blockbuster

Scott Berechree

ROUND 14 of North Gippsland football will throw up what appears to be four one-sided matches, but Rosedale’s games against Traralgon-Tyers United is set to be a blockbuster.

The clash has the potential to determine who finishes top three at season’s end, but with the competition so close this year, the loser runs the risk of missing finals all together if Sale City can mount a late season charge.

A score-less third quarter last weekend saw Rosedale go down to Yarram in a fiercely-contested clash.

The Blues’ opponent on Saturday, TTU, also found itself in a slog as winter well and truly arrived across Gippsland. The Bombers managed to come out on top in their low-scoring clash with Cowwarr.

Rosedale coach Sam Bristow was hopeful of recalling Brad Scott, Sam Tudor and Luke Lossberg for the crucial match.

Bristow said Rosedale was expecting “another tough encounter”, noting the Bombers had a “number of quality players as their disposal”.

TTU coach Michael Duncan and Tim Aitken, who took a plethora of marks last week in game 250, together kicked all four of their side’s goals against Cowwarr.

Duncan was overtly aware of the need to put the slows on Rosedale’s Brandon McDonald, noting the power forward was “in great form over the past five to six weeks”. Duncan felt the best way to do this was for his side to win the midfield battle and cut off supply.

The winner of the clash between Rosedale’s Rylee Atlee and Adam Diamond and TTU’s Ricky Cochrane and Jack Brown in the centre of the ground could determine not only who gets the four points tomorrow, but who grabs the all-important third spot on the ladder come season’s end.

WOODSIDE will take some confidence into its home game with Heyfield.

A six-goal second quarter had Woodside in its clash with Churchill last week. In fact, were it not for a couple of costly misses from Tom King and coach Ryan Foat late in the second term, the Wildcats could have headed to the rooms less than a kick behind at the long break.

With Gary Jones playing deep forward and Foat and fellow ruckman Tom Crosby hitting the scoreboard when resting up front, Woodside has enough firepower to kick a winning score this week.

Heyfield got the win and some needed goal kicking practice when taking Gormandale to the cleaners.

Things began well on the accuracy front, but the 8.11 the Kangaroos registered after the first break would not have pleased supporters. The positive, however, is that any time you generate 30 scoring shots on a wet and windy day you are doing plenty right.

Heyfield will need to put the clamps on Rowan Missen, who was crucial in the midfield last week and his influence afforded Foat the luxury of keeping Jones closer to goal.

If the Kangaroos can nullify Missen and King’s influence through the middle and force Woodside to move Jones up the ground it will take away the Wildcats’ most effective small forward.

This would go a long way to ensuring a much-needed away win for Heyfield who, depending on other results, may be in a position to start eyeing off third spot on the ladder.

A TRIP to Cowwarr in the midst of winter is never an easy task, and it will be Churchill’s turn on Saturday.

While the Saints’ finals aspirations are done and dusted, they would love nothing more than to claim the scalps of the league’s top two sides as they start to build toward 2020.

The Cougars won last week on the back of a three-quarter performance.

This effort saw them let in six second quarter majors yet restrict Woodside to a single goal across the other three terms.

Churchill looks to have too many forward weapons for Cowwarr, and with Joel Mason and Ryan Lowrie partnering up across half-forward the supply to the likes of Ben Kearns, coach Chris Williams and Blake Slater, should enable the visitor to come away with the win.

SALE City’s participation in the finals is possibly hinging on its percentage – that spells trouble for Saturday’s opponent Gormandale, which managed just six behinds in its loss to Heyfield.

With Bohdi Walker slotting five goals last week in City’s win over Glengarry and Nick Grainger having kicked more than 40 majors for the year, it could well be party time for the Bulldogs’ forwards.

Coach Jacob Schuback will want to rack up a percentage-boosting win before the Bulldogs finish the season against four of the competition’s top five sides.

YARRAM has beaten all-comers since an early season aberration which saw it drop back-to-back games at home.

The only positive the Demons’ opponent Glengarry might look to take out of this game is a chance to measure itself against one of the better sides with a view to seeing where the young list needs to improve.