AS the fight to be fifth rages on, Bears Lagoon Serpentine and Inglewood face crucial games in this weekend’s resumption to the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League’s senior footy action.
After a week’s rest for the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend, LVFNL teams take to the ovals for the 10th round.
The fifth-placed Bears are on home turf at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve to take on the fourth-placed Mitiamo.
A first-year coach at BLS, Justin Laird has played a crucial role, on and off-field as the Bears squared the win-loss ledger at four-four after a hard-fought 58-52 victory in round nine against Maiden Gully YCW.
Best for the Bears in that contest on the Eagles’ turf at Marist College Oval were Charlie and Harrison Gadsden, Justin Laird and Kalem Paxton.
The round one clash between Mitiamo and BLS at John Forbes Oval ended in a 106-22 victory for the Superoos.
The Laird-led Bears will be confident of a closer margin, or perhaps an upset this time.
Mitiamo is on the rebound from 23-point loss at home to Bridgewater.
Best for the Marcus McKern-coached Superoos in their clash with the Mean Machine were Carl Nicholson, Ross Turner, Daniel Mowat and Nathan Twigg.
Mitiamo and Bridgewater are locked on five wins apiece, but the Machine is four points clear.
A win for Mitiamo could see it move to the third rung as Bridgewater has an away game against the unbeaten Pyramid Hill.
Key players for the Superoos include Jarryd Wiegard, Ryan Wellington, Jay Reynolds, Lucas Matthews and Lee Dale.
Another big game will be at Inglewood’s Dissy Machinery where the Blues take on Calivil United.
The Darrell Billett-coached Inglewood made a great start to the season when it won the first-round match at Calivil by five goals.
At one stage the Blues had a 3-1 record, but they are now desperate to break a run of four consecutive defeats.
Latest hit-out for the Blues ended in a 126-25 loss to Pyramid Hill at Inglewood.
Best for Inglewood in that match were Luke Matheson, Alex Lowe, Nathan Angelino and Charlie Ingham.
A key to the Blues’ chances against the Demons will be curbing the influence of classy forward Jacob Greenwood.
The play of Jaxon Billett, James Woods, Cody Stobaus, Thomas Kennedy and Cody Wright will be important to Inglewood returning to the winners’ list.
The Jack Daley-coached Demons have a 1-7 record after a 33-point loss at Newbridge last round.
Calivil United will look to big games from the likes of ruck-rover Mitch Avard, rover Jack Burns, Brock Rogers and Ben Daley in defence, Phil Ryan on a wing, and Ben Baker in attack.
It’s first against third as Pyramid Hill hosts Bridgewater at Mitchell Park.
The Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Bulldogs are in hot form.
Pyramid Hill’s best in the 99-point win at Inglewood were Sebastian Relouw, Brad Ladson, Steven Gunther and Gavin James.
Defences dominated as the Bulldogs scored a 68-48 in round one at Bridgewater.
A talented Pyramid Hill line-up includes Braidy and Ryley Dickens, Billy Micevski, Bailey George, Adrian Holland and Jack Timmins.
Bridgewater scored a crucial 102-79 victory at Mitiamo in round nine.
Andy Collins, Lachlan Allison and Brayden Stepien were best.
The Rick Ladson-coached Bridgewater also had the classy Harry Donegan set up plenty of attacks with his damaging left-foot.
Players to watch for the Machine include Josh Martyn at full-forward, Tim Wood, Lloyd Needs, Emile Pavlich and Cameron Ross.
The Maiden Gully YCW Eagles squad was significantly strengthened in recent days by the signings of former players Brayden Aitken and Nate McLaren, and recruited Damian Wust and Matt Gilmore from Rushworth.
The Wayne Mitrovic-coached Eagles make the trek to Marong to take on an opponent which won the first-round clash at Marist College Oval by 144 points.
Maiden Gully YCW almost toppled Bears Lagoon Serpentine last round as Corey Walsh, Nathan Murley, Steve Turner and Hamish McCartney were best.
The Linton Jacobs-coached Marong has enjoyed a two-week break as it had the bye in round nine.
A powerful Panthers attack is led by Brandyn Grenfell on 58 goals and includes Cory Jacobs, Lachlan Frankel and Kain Robins.
Stars for Marong in recent matches include Nathan Devanny, Jimmy Gadsden, Corey Gregg, Kyle Manley and Ryley Taylor.
Newbridge has the bye.
Loddon Valley FNL senior footy ladder:
Pyramid Hill 304 per cent, 32 points; Marong 279, 28; Bridgewater 122, 20; Mitiamo 118, 20; Bears Lagoon-Serpentine 78, 16; Inglewood 68, 12; Newbridge 49, 8; Calivil United 59, 4; Maiden Gully YCW 49, 4.
58 Brandyn Grenfell, Mar.
30 Josh Martyn, B’water.
29 Bailey George, PH.
21 Jason Butty, MGYCW; Justin Laird, BLS.
20 Braidy Dickens, PH.
19 Andy Collins, B’water.
18 Jay Reynolds, Miti.
17 Chris Dixon, New.
16 Andrew Gladman, BLS.
15 Jacob Greenwood, CU.
14 Harry Whittle, New.
Written by Nathan Dole.