BY NATHAN DOLE
NEWBRIDGE will be chasing back-to-back victories when it hosts Bears Lagoon-Serpentine in Saturday’s 11th round of the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL senior footy action.
After a string of eight away games in the first half of the season, Newbridge was back at Beck Legal Riverside Oval last Saturday after the venue had been refurbished after flooding.
Jointly-coached by Sam Gale, playing, and Daniel Smith, non-playing, Newbridge won by three goals.
Now the challenge is to stop a Bears Lagoon-Serpentine team on a four-match winning streak.
The margin when these clubs met in round two was 15 goals in favour of the Bears at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve.
Key players for Newbridge include Dylan Stevens, Caleb Sanders, captain Angus Fortune, Dylan Lloyd, and 300-game player Chris Dixon.
The Maroons also welcome back tough on-baller Caleb Argus.
Bears-Lagoon Serpentine strengthened its grip on the ladder’s third rung with last Saturday’s home win against Inglewood by 10 points.
Best for BLS in that contest included coach Justin Laird, Charlie and Harry Gadsden, Aidan Brohm and Andy Gladman.
After a bye, Pyramid Hill is back in action on home turf at Mitchell Park to take on Calivil United.
In round two the Bulldogs won by 31 points at Calivil.
The workrate of the Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Bulldogs around stoppages will test the Demons all match.
Players to watch for Pyramid Hill include Harding medallist Billy Micevski, captain Steven Gunther, ruckman Adrian Holland, Zach Alford and Jesse Sheahan.
The Anthony Dennis-coached Calivil United will need big games from the likes of Henry Miller, Rhys Lourie, Lachlan Brook, Brae Mensforth and Evan Ritchie.
Maiden Gully YCW Eagles are back in their nest at Marist College Bendigo to take on Bridgewater.
Margin when these clubs met in round two was four points in favour of Bridgewater.
Depth of Maiden Gully YCW’s squad is being tested each round.
The Eagles team to take on the Mean Machine includes Tyler Miles in the centre, coach Jay McDonald at half-back, Matthew Crooks in the ruck, assistant coach Damian Wust as rover, Jayden Magnusson and Ryan Strauch in defence.
The Rick Ladson-coached Bridgewater had to fight for a 14-point win at home against Mitiamo last round.
Among the highs for the Mean Machine is the form of young midfielder Darcy Wood.
Bridgewater’s centreline for this match is Wood, Charlton Hindle and Zane Hoiles.
Captain Josh Martyn is the key target in attack, along with Nic Naughton and Ben Irvine.
The conditions will be ideal for Mean Machine rover Harry Donegan.
Inglewood is back at Dissy Machinery Oval to host Marong.
It’s fourth against first where the Blues face a daunting task against the unbeaten reigning premier.
When these teams met in round two it was a 14-goal win for Marong.
The Darrell Billett-coached Inglewood will look for big games from the likes of Bregon Cotchett, captain Luke Matheson, Sam Dorevitch, Charlie McGaw, Fergus and Keelan Payne, and Thomas Kennedy.
A formidable Marong is led by Brandyn Grenfell and Kain Robins.
Been an outstanding run by the Linton Jacobs-coached Panthers who have so many contributors each week.
As impressive as the attacking flair is, Marong has conceded just three goals in its past three games.
Loddon Valley FNL senior footy ladder:
Marong 654 per cent, 36 points; Pyramid Hill 205, 28; Bears-Lagoon Serpentine 115, 28; Inglewood 121, 20; Bridgewater 92, 20; Calivil United 62, 8; Maiden Gully YCW 46, 8; Newbridge 45, 8; Mitiamo 42, 4.
Leaders in the goalkicking race:
59 Brandyn Grenfell, Marong.
39 Josh Martyn, Bridgewater.
34 Kain Robins, Marong.
28 Charlie McGaw, Inglewood.
24 Matt Riordan, Marong.
22 Justin Laird, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
22 Ryley Taylor, Marong.
20 Andy Gladman, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
19 Bailey George, Pyramid Hill.
18 Sam Dorevitch, Inglewood.
17 Ben Baker, Calivil United.
17 Jack McCaig, Marong.
17 Jay Reynolds, Mitiamo.
16 Zach Alford, Pyramid Hill.
16 Keelan Payne, Inglewood.
15 Thomas Brennan, Pyramid Hill.
14 Nathan Devanny, Marong.
14 Will Perryman, Pyramid Hill.
13 James Bailey, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
13 Dylan Collis, Pyramid Hill.
13 Daniel Polack, Inglewood.
12 Andrew Cussen, Mitiamo.
11 Mitch Dingwall, Pyramid Hill.
11 Chris Dixon, Newbridge.
11 Darcy Poulter, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
10 Brayden Baines, Mitiamo.
10 Bregon Cotchett, Inglewood.
10 Sam Gale, Newbridge.
10 Nic Naughton, Bridgewater.