BY NATHAN DOLE
A SHOWDOWN between Balranald and Lake Boga highlights Saturday’s fifth round of senior footy in the Central Murray FNL season.
The Balranald Kangaroos are on their ground at Greenham Park to take on the Magpies in the 3SH-backed competition’s match of the day from 2.30pm.
Balranald and Lake Boga have 3-1 records and sit second and third in the premiership race.
The Kangaroos dominated last Saturday’s away game against Koondrook Barham to score a 129-10 victory at the Barham ground.
Key players for Balranald include rover Ethan Gant, Josh Hodgson at full-back, Ryan Middlebrook at half-back, and Tom Salau.
The Kangaroos have also named Geelong premiership player Nathan Ablett at centre half-back.
An attack led by Ben Fuller, Colin Andrews and Jack Jones will test the Magpies.
The Neagle trio of Jaxon, Jydon and Matthew have played well in the Roos’ streak.
At the other end of the ground, Balranald’s defence is up against former Essendon and Port Adelaide forward Angus Monfries and the classy David Gourdis.
The Magpies soared to a 49-point win against Tyntynder at Lake Boga Sports Club as centreman Tyle Williams, half-forward Lincoln Sieben led the way.
Lake Boga also had ruckman Jacob Simpson, ruck-rover Lochie Laing and rover Jake Warren win plenty of centre clearances and stoppages last round.
Cohuna Kangas are back at home to take on Swan Hill.
The Kangas will be keen to rebound from a 38-point loss to Kerang on the Blues’ turf at Riverside Park.
Key players for Cohuna include on-ballers Jarrod Findlay and Joel Helman, plus Chris Anderson and Daniel Coates.
The Kangas’ line-up includes Dylan Johnstone, Sam McGlone, Will Thrum and Mitchell Treacy.
It will not be an easy assignment for the Tyson Findlay-coached Kangas after Swan Hill scored a 32-point victory at home against Nyah Nyah West United last round.
A key factor for the Swans was the play of Michael Hurley in attack where he kicked four goals.
Hurley was not named in the Swans team this week.
Ruckman Toby Thoolen, Jarvis Keogh and Jose Miliado will be keen to play a big part in the Swans’ third win of the season.
Swan Hill’s squad includes Buol Majur, Angus Monk, captain Luke Phelan, and Matthew Wade.
Tyntynder takes on Kerang at Alan Garden Reserve in Swan Hill.
The Bulldogs will be keen to hit back from a 49-point loss on Lake Boga’s turf.
It’s a daunting task for Tyntynder against the reigning premier.
Key players for the Bulldogs include Jason Eagle at full-forward, Matt Gilbee at centre half-back, and co-captain Elia Ware at half-back.
The work of midfielders Ben Hallam, Cayden Crowe and Wilhelm Hawkins will be crucial to Tyntynder’s chances of a massive upset.
Kerang has plenty of goalkicking options.
The league’s goalkicking race is led by Kerang team-mates Bradlee Pay and Michael Runciman on 12.
A powerful line-up for the Troy Coates-coached Blues includes ruckman Rylee Gitscham, captain Josh Nitschke, Martin Kelly in the centre, Ryan Gillingham and Sam Nitschke across half-forward.
A strong Kerang defence includes Ashley Davis, Jotham Higgs and Josh Hunter.
Nyah Nyah West United is back at home to take on Tooleybuc Manangatang.
The Demons will be fired up for their duel with the Saints.
Nyah’s best against Lake Boga included rover Kayne Davidson, Brayden Bigham at half-forward, Riley Daniels up forward, and Zack Threadgold in defence.
The Demons also have Jarrod Stokes and Joseph Violi on the wings.
A 52-point loss at home to Mallee Eagles has left Tooleybuc Manangatang in eighth place.
Best for the Saints against the Eagles were rover Blake Grant, ruckman Tim Auckland, Jack Mazzarella in defence, and ruck-rover Mitchell Grant.
Tooleybuc Manangatang will also look to Ryan Domaille, Tom Spicer, Luke Walsh and Josh Williams to lead the way to victory.
After a bye, Woorinen is on home turf to take on Koondrook Barham.
Victory will put the Tigers back in the top three.
Key players for Woorinen include Jye Barry in the centre, Doug Beames, Danko Bzenic and Will Collicoat in attack, ruckman Lachlan Gardner, Angus Butterfield and Matthew Gardner in defence.
It’s been a tough run for Koondrook Barham which was held to just 10 points by Balranald last round.
Recruited from Huntly, Mitch Christensen has played well in every game for the River Raiders.
The KB line-up will look to ruckman Jacob Barrington, rover Jack Thrum, Scott Wood at full-back, Harley Burmeister-Lyons, Colin McVeigh and Eli Boyd to win their fair share of contests against the yellow and black.
Mallee Eagles have the bye.
Standings in the 3SH-backed senior footy competition in the Central Murray FNL:
Kerang 337 per cent, 16 points; Balranald 253, 12; Lake Boga 114, 12; Woorinen 201, 8; Cohuna 113, 8; Swan Hill 89, 8; Nyah Nyah West United 111, 4; Tooleybuc Manangatang 77, 4; Tyntynder 77, 4; Mallee Eagles 59, 4; Koondrook Barham 20, 0.
12 Bradlee Pay, Kerang.
12 Michael Runciman, Kerang.
12 Josh Williams, Tooleybuc Manangatang.
11 Troy Coates, Kerang.
11 Rhys Free, Cohuna.
9 Danko Bzenic, Woorinen.
8 Charlie Boulton, Nyah Nyah West United.
8 William Collicoat, Woorinen.
8 Luke Conca, Cohuna.
8 Jack Donat, Cohuna.
8 Brent Macleod, Mallee Eagles.
8 Zach Mihocek, Swan Hill.
7 Ben Fuller, Balranald.
7 Drew Lloyd, Balranald.
7 Jydon Neagle, Balranald.
6 Ethan Gant, Balranald.
6 Ryan Gillingham, Kerang.
6 Michael Dalrymple, Kerang.
6 Liam Whelan, Tyntynder.
6 Liam White, Nyah Nyah West United.