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Newbridge faces revved-up Mean Machine

by Nathan Dole

NEWBRIDGE can eliminate any hope Bridgewater has of contesting the Loddon Valley Football Netball League finals by winning Saturday’s senior football clash at Riverside Park.

Leagues across AFL Central Victoria have thrown their support behind Violence Prevention Round.

Senior footballers and A-grade netballers in the Loddon Valley will wear orange armbands to support the cause.

The orange ribbon is the colour designated by the United Nation’s UNiTE to End Violence against women campaign with the colour representing an optimistic future free from violence against women and girls.

 “Sport can play a significant part in raising awareness of the importance of respectful relationships,” said AFL Central Victoria Regional general manager Carol Cathcart.

“This weekend we are promoting the message to stand up, speak out and act to stop violence against women and girls in our community”.

Two of the league’s greatest rivals in Newbridge and Bridgewater will be determined to play well in the 16th round.

Since the bye in round 12, Bridgewater has defeated top-five sides Calivil United and Pyramid Hill, and went down to the high-flying Maiden Gully YCW Eagles by 11 points.

A win at Newbridge will keep the Mean Machine in the race to figure in another finals campaign.

A loss and it’s over, especially if the fifth-placed Mitiamo wins at Marong and gains an eight-point buffer on Bridgewater.

The Machine showed it’s not a spent force just yet as it scored a 44-point victory in last Saturday’s home game against Pyramid Hill.

When the Maroons and Machine last clashed in round seven, Newbridge won a great contest by 22 points.

A huge challenge for Bridgewater in the return bout will be stopping the in-form Jordan Gilboy who leads the league goalkicking race on 59 goals, as well as Sam Mildren.

At the other end of the ground, Darren Clutton has booted 42 goals for Bridgewater and will test the Maroons all match.

After the bye, Marong is back in action at Malone Park against Mitiamo.

The Superoos jumped back to fifth after their win against Bears Lagoon Serpentine and should take the points on the Panthers turf.

Another big match will be at Pyramid Hill’s Mitchell Park where the Bulldogs take on Calivil United.

Both line-ups are on the rebound from defeat.

The Demons were outplayed by Maiden Gully YCW at Raywood last round, but a win would lift chances of grabbing the double chance at Pyramid Hill’s expense.

The play of Mitchell Cheesman and Nathan Fitzpatrick will be crucial to the Bulldogs chances, while Daniel Reid and Vincent Rodl are major players in the Demons forward line.

Bears Lagoon Serpentine takes on Inglewood.

A defeat would make it extremely difficult for the Bears to gain a top five finish as they play Bridgewater and Calivil United in the last two rounds of the home and away series.

When the Bears last met the Blues they won by 128 points.

Cody Gunn leads the Bears attack on 37 goals and is likely to play a prominent role again.

Fans will be hoping for a closer margin this time.

Maiden Gully YCW Eagles have the bye.

Loddon Valley FNL senior footy ladder:

Newbridge 44 points, 148 per cent; Maiden Gully YCW Eagles 44, 134; Pyramid Hill 100, 36; Calivil United 28, 124; Mitiamo 106, 28; Bears Lagoon Serpentine 24, 122; Bridgewater 112, 24; Marong 8, 62; Inglewood 4, 45.

 
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