BY NATHAN DOLE
IT’S a likely elimination final preview as Bridgewater faces Inglewood in Saturday’s 12th round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL season.
Bridgewater is on home turf as fourth takes on fifth.
The clubs are separated by just four points.
The Rick Ladson-coached Bridgewater scored a hard-fought 25-point win at Maiden Gully last Saturday as Inglewood went down to Marong by 119 points.
In round three it was the Darrell Billett-coached Inglewood which beat Bridgewater by 33 points at Dissy Machinery Oval.
Key match-ups for Saturday’s match include Bridgewater’s Charlton Hindle in the centre against Bregon Cotchett, rover Harry Donegan opposed to Daniel Polack, and James Naughton at full-back against Blues’ star Keelan Payne.
Bridgewater will be without captain and gun forward Josh Martyn, so the Machine will look to Nic Naughton, Ben Irvine and Alex Pollock to lead the attack.
Other key players for the Mean Machine are Darcy Wood and Emile Pavlich in midfield, and Jack Symons at half-back.
The Blues’ attack includes Charlie McGaw, Traiton Kenal and Fergus Payne.
Inglewood has Thomas Kennedy in the ruck, Sam Dorevitch as ruck-rover, and Sam Polack and Callum March leading the defence.
Another big match is at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve where the third-placed Bears-Lagon Serpentine takes on the second-placed Pyramid Hill.
In round three it was the Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Pyramid Hill which beat the Bears by three goals at Mitchell Park.
Both teams had 10-plus goal wins last round.
Key players for the Bears include coach Justin Laird, Aidan Brohm, Andy Gladman, Charlie and Harry Gadsden, and Beau Roy-Clements.
The Bears are up against a strong on-ball and midfield group from Pyramid Hill.
Ruckman Adrian Holland is capable of setting up plenty of attacking moves for the Bulldogs.
Other players to watch in the red, white and blue include Billy Micevski, Bryden Morison, Bailey George, Zach Alford, Jesse Sheahan, and Will Perryman.
Newbridge is at home to take on Marong at Beck Legal Riverside Oval.
Massive challenge for the Maroons who were held to a score of 2.1 at Marong’s Malone Park in round three.
The workrate of the Newbridge team at centre ball-ups and stoppages will be crucial in affecting the quality and quantity of supply to a star-studded forward line.
Best for the Sam Gale and Daniel Smith-coached Maroons in last week’s loss to the Bears were Angus Fortune, David Romer, Tyler McLeod and Caleb Sanders.
Marong’s gun forward Brandyn Grenfell leads the goalkicking race on 67 and a key target in an attack that includes Matt Riordan and Ryley Taylor.
Other players to watch for the Linton Jacobs-coached Panthers are Jimmy Gadsden, Richard Tibbett, Jonty Davis and Lachlan Lee.
Mitiamo is at John Forbes Oval to take on Maiden Gully YCW.
In round three it was the Jay McDonald-coached Eagles which beat Mitiamo by nine goals.
The Jon Varcoe-coached Superoos have been refreshed by the bye, while Maiden Gully YCW played well against Bridgewater.
Mitiamo’s line-up includes Luke Lougoon, Andrew Cussen, Ross Turner, Brayden Baines, Dylan Clohesy and Doug Thomas.
Best for the Eagles last round were assistant coach Damian Wust, Tyler Miles, Nathan Murley and Will Noden.
Calivil United has the bye.
Loddon Valley FNL senior footy ladder:
Marong 611 per cent, 40 points; Pyramid Hill 211, 32; Bears-Lagoon Serpentine 124, 32; Bridgewater 96, 24; Inglewood 104, 20; Calivil United 59, 8; Maiden Gully YCW 46, 8; Newbridge 43, 8; Mitiamo 42, 4.
Leaders in the goalkicking race:
67 Brandyn Grenfell, Marong.
40 Kain Robins, Marong.
39 Josh Martyn, Bridgewater.
30 Charlie McGaw, Inglewood.
26 Matt Riordan, Marong.
26 Ryley Taylor, Marong.
24 Andy Gladman, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
22 Justin Laird, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
21 Bailey George, Pyramid Hill.
18 Sam Dorevitch, Inglewood.
18 Will Perryman, Pyramid Hill.
17 Zach Alford, Pyramid Hill.
17 Ben Baker, Calivil United.
17 Jack McCaig, Marong.
17 Keelan Payne, Inglewood.
17 Jay Reynolds, Mitiamo.
15 Thomas Brennan, Pyramid Hill.
14 James Bailey, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
14 Nathan Devanny, Marong.
13 Dylan Collis, Pyramid Hill.
13 Daniel Polack, Inglewood.
12 Andrew Cussen, Mitiamo.
12 Mitch Dingwall, Pyramid Hill.
11 Chris Dixon, Newbridge.
11 Callum Draper, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
11 Darcy Poulter, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
10 Brayden Baines, Mitiamo.
10 Bregon Cotchett, Inglewood.
10 Brandon Dimech, Maiden Gully YCW.
10 Harry Gadsden, Bears-Lagoon Serpentine.
10 Sam Gale, Newbridge.
10 Charlie Ingham, Inglewood.
10 Jake Lawry, Calivil United.
10 Nic Naughton, Bridgewater.