PYRAMID Hill and Bears Lagoon Serpentine face a test against two of the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League’s best in Saturday’s 16th round of senior footy action.
Play across the Valley resumes after a two-week break because of the COVID lockdown.
There will no spectators allowed at matches, but players, officials and volunteers are urged to adhere to the COVID protocols such as QR codes or sign in, social distancing and other measures to keep all safe.
Pyramid Hill has home-ground advantage at Mitchell Park against the unbeaten Mitiamo.
The round seven match on May 22 ended in a 107-69 win for the Mitiamo Superoos on their patch at John Forbes Oval.
The Bulldogs have the on-ball division to trouble Mitiamo, but it’s goalscoring power where Mitiamo is likely to hold the edge.
Key targets for the Superoos include Tyrone Downie, 33 goals; Ryan Wellington, 27; Tim Brooks, 26; and Brent Downie, 17.
It could be another tough afternoon for a Pyramid Hill defence led by Dylan Morison, Brad Driscoll, Brad Ladson and Gavin James.
Pyramid Hill has Braidy Dickens, 47 goals; Bailey George, 28; and Mitch Cheesman, 19; but they are up against a defence led by Max Simpson, Ben Bacon, Kyle Patten and Luke Lougoon.
The on-ball duels will be a highlight as Pyramid Hill has Adrian Holland, Billy Micevski and Matt Ladson up against Nathan Twigg, Jackson Falls and Ross Turner.
The Bulldogs have brought in wingman Nathan Catherwood and Jack Hickmott for Pat Blood and Evan Dorrington.
Bears Lagoon Serpentine takes on a red-hot Marong at Serpentine.
Both teams scored big wins in round 13 played on July 10.
The Bears won by 248 points at Inglewood, but can expect much stronger resistance this time.
Jesse Evans kicked six goals for BLS against the Blues as Darcy Poulter, Justin Laird, Nathan Twigg and Andy Gladman also starred.
Marong booted 10 goals and kept Pyramid Hill to one major in the first half at Mitchell Park.
The Panthers went on to win 108-25 as Brandyn Grenfell, seven goals; Adrian Pappin, four; and Kain Robins, three, led the attack.
In-form players for Marong include Nathan Devanny, Harry Graham and Richard Tibbett.
A Michelsen medallist and premiership-winning star for Eaglehawk, Robins has kicked 44 goals for Marong and Grenfell has racked up 34 majors in just four games.
The Bears will have put a lot of planning in to ways to limit the impact the Panthers’ stars have.
The play of BLS key defenders Orion Downing and Jeremy Hancock will be vital, and they will need strong support from the likes of Josh Walsh and Zach Stone.
Marong has brought in Jimmy Gadsden, Carl Thiesz and Nathan Walsh for Jacob Ede, Aron Morrish and Adrian Pappin.
A strong Panthers team includes Ben and Corey Gregg, Adam Ward, Zac Turnbull and Cory Jacobs.
Bears Lagoon Serpentine will look for big games from the likes of James Rippingale, Miggy Podosky and Tannar Cerrone.
Inglewood takes on Calivil United at Dissy Machinery Oval in Inglewood.
The Blues will be desperate for a few goals after a goalless run against the Bears in the 10th round.
There is no doubting Inglewood’s fighting spirit, but lack of height and weight in key positions is a huge disadvantage.
Cody Stobaus, Matt Rowe, Jasper McClelland and Thomas Alexander were best in Inglewood’s latest match.
The Blues have brought in ruck-rover Tynan Hywood, half-back flanker Luke Matheson, wingman Lachlan Nemet, Aaron Lister and Jack Nevins for Lochlan Else, Thomas Lake, Brodie Reddin-Jowett, Fletcher Runnalls and Jack Sides.
The Demons will be keen to bounce back from a big loss to Mitiamo a few weeks ago.
In round seven, Calivil United beat Inglewood, 120 to 36.
Jake Lawry leads the Demons’ goalkicking race, while Brady Childs, Jedd Thompson and Keelan Beattie can win plenty of the ball.
The Blues’ leading goalkicker is Josh Taig on seven.
Maiden Gully YCW Eagles meet Bridgewater at Marist College Oval.
In round seven the Eagles worked hard in a 51-point loss at Bridgewater Bakehouse Oval.
Reaching a goals tally in double figures is a major challenge for the Eagles.
The attack is led by Matt Gray, 14 goals in four games; Luke Gray and Sam Barnes on 11 apiece.
A new-look attack for the Mean Machine in this match will be led by Josh Martyn, 53 goals; the experienced Darren Clutton, and skilful Zane Hoiles.
Alex Powell, 27 goals, and Andy Collins, 17 goals in six matches, are not in the selected line-up.
A strong midfield for Bridgewater of Tom Dowd, Zeb Broadbent and Peter Rothacker will be tough for the Eagles to hold all match.
It’s been a long break for the Eagles as they had the bye on July 10.
Newbridge has the bye.
Loddon Valley FNL senior footy ladder:
Mitiamo 321 per cent, 40 points; Bridgewater 244, 36; Marong 263, 32; Pyramid Hill 188, 24; Bears Lagoon Serpentine 131, 20; Maiden Gully YCW Eagles 103, 12; Newbridge 49, 8; Calivil United 25, 4; Inglewood 11, 0.
Written by Nathan Dole.