UPDATE: Because of the current five-day lockdown, local sport has been cancelled.
ELEVEN rounds of the North Gippsland football season have been played, signifying the point in the season were all clubs have played each other once.
The wash up looks something like this: Woodside will finish top of the ladder after an enthralling win over Yallourn-Yallourn North. Positions second to sixth are all up for grabs, with YYN, Churchill, Yarram, Traralgon-Tyers United and Rosedale able to fill any of those spots when the season comes to a close.
Two games on Saturday will have the biggest say in how the finals shape up, when YYN is pitted against Yarram and TTU against Rosedale.
AFTER beginning the season all the way back on Good Friday, the Jets and Yarram battle it out again, with the winner putting one hand on a top three spot at season’s end.
YYN looked to have top spot in its grasp after kicking nine points clear of Woodside at the weekend with only six minutes left to play.
Now it will now have to lower its sights and settle for battling it with the rest of the finals hopefuls, targeting the double chance that comes with finishing second or third.
Yarram ran over the top of a less than full strength Churchill, but did so in a fashion that tells you the side which has played in the past two grand finals is looking to make it three premiership deciders in a row.
After dealing with the league’s best back line last week, the Jets will come up against the best midfield on Saturday.
While the magnets on Yarram coach Justin Staley’s white board might indicate Griffin Underwood and Jack Weston play across half-back, their work rate, run and carry see them rack up onballer type numbers each week. Their output, along with that of Chris Bruns, in the middle provides elite service to the Yarram forwards.
With James Shea and Josh Swift among the goals last week, and Dan Vardy hoping to return by the end of the season, the Demons look to be hitting form at the right time. The Jets will be keen however to avoid a third loss on their home deck for the year, and will certainly prove stiff opposition.
Keenan Hughes and Mitchell Luck ran far and wide last week to provide options right up the
ground. The Jets looked a lot more potent with at least one of those two nearer to goal and providing a foil for Dean McDonald, who was well-held by Woodside’s Will Broadbent.
WHEN Rosedale makes the trip to Tyers, it will be fifth on the ladder playing sixth.
As if to perfectly encapsulate just how close the season is, should the home side win, it will be a huge chance to end up third on the table come Saturday night. A loss however would see the Bombers out of the five and with games to come against Heyfield, Churchill and Yarram.
Rosedale has hit its straps and with midfield guns Rohan Diamond and Dale Fleming among
their better contributors, the Blues would fancy their chances of mixing it with anyone.
Courtesy of a slightly softer run home than some of the sides they are competing for finals action with, the Blues would see themselves as a genuine top three hope.
WOODSIDE will make the trip to Glengarry to take on a Magpie outfit intent on shaping the back half of the season.
Excusing an ordinary result against Rosedale a fortnight ago, Glengarry has been better than okay over their last half a dozen outings and buoyed by an upset win over Heyfield last week, there will be a buzz around the Magpies this week.
Woodside coach Michael Duncan will need to ensure the Wildcats are up for the contest from the start or he and his charges run the risk of undoing many months of hard work.
With Dan Missen and Will Broadbent patrolling the back half, and Ben Johnson, Jeremy Morgan and Josh Kennedy running amok in the middle, the Wildcats looked every bit the ladder leaders when securing their win last week.
A more even spread of goal kickers will ensure the Glengarry coaching staff have a few names circled on the Wildcat team sheet pre-game.
SALE City, coming off a bye, will undoubtedly be too good for Gormandale.
Oddly enough, with the Bulldogs not in the finals hunt, they remain the only side to have beaten Woodside this season.
When Sale City and Gormandale crossed paths back in round one, the Bulldogs ran out 77-point victors. With the Bulldogs freshened after the bye and the Tigers having 11 players double up from the reserves to the seniors last week you’d expect the Dogs to do all the barking late in the game.
HEYFIELD, Cowwarr and Churchill will have a bye.