TWO umpires with a combined tally of 385 AFL matches will take charge of this Saturday’s senior footy clash between Loddon Valley Football Netball League rivals Calivil United and Marong.
John Russo and John Harvey will officiate in the Demons home game at Raywood Recreation Reserve.
In an AFL career which ran from 1982 until 1995, Russo umpired in 222 senior matches.
Highlights were the 1986 and 1991 grand finals.
In later years, Russo regularly umpired the E.J. Whitten Foundation legends matches at Etihad Stadium.
Harvey umpired in the big league from 1990 until 2001.
A 163-game stint included six finals.
The Demons will be fired up for a big performance at Raywood, the previous home of Northern United Football Club which dominated in the Golden City FL for many years, and was senior premier in the Bendigo Football League from 1984 to ’87.
As reigning premier in the Loddon Valley, Calivil United’s form has fluctuated this season.
A 4-4 record has the Demons in fourth place on the ladder and facing a must-win game against Marong to stay clear of Bears Lagoon-Serpentine and Bridgewater.
In the latest round of the Valley season, Calivil United beat the Bears by 17 points.
Marong kicked off the season with a 10-point loss at home to the Demons.
The Panthers are on the rebound from a 57-point loss to Bridgewater.
Because of home-ground advantage and so much to play for, Calivil United to take the points at Raywood.
It’s second against third as Newbridge travels to Pyramid Hill’s Mitchell Park.
Newbridge is on the rebound from just its second loss of the season, a 12-point defeat inflicted by the high-flying Maiden Gully YCW Eagles.
The Bulldogs have the same win-loss ratio as the Maroons, 6-2, but are 39 per cent adrift.
In round one, Pyramid Hill scored a nine-point triumph at Newbridge’s Riverside Park.
After a week’s rest because of the bye, a freshened-up Pyramid Hill will be tough to beat at home.
Another crucial clash will be at Bridgewater where the Mean Machine takes on Mitiamo.
Bridgewater has a win-loss record of 3-5, but is right in the finals race.
The fifth-placed Mitiamo, 4-4, kicked off the season with a 25-point win at home against Bridgewater.
Plenty at stake for both clubs, but Bridgewater to win this time.
The ladder-leading Maiden Gully YCW Eagles are at home to Bears Lagoon-Serpentine.
The Eagles teamed superbly to win at Newbridge last round and now have a 7-1 record.
A loss at the Gully would leave the Bears on a 3-6 record and facing an uphill battle to qualify for the finals.
The Eagles won by 35 at Serpentine in round one and should triumph again.
Inglewood has the bye.
Loddon Valley FNL senior ladder:
Maiden Gully YCW Eagles 28 points, Newbridge 24, Pyramid Hill 24, Calivil United 16, Mitiamo 16, Bears Lagoon-Serpentine 12, Bridgewater 12, Marong 8, Inglewood 4.