BY NATHAN DOLE
IT’S a crucial match at Pyramid Hill’s Mitchell Park in this Saturday’s fifth round of senior footy in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL season.
On the rebound from defeat on Marong’s turf, Pyramid Hill is at home to take on Bridgewater from 2.15pm.
The Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Bulldogs have a 2-1 record after a first-round bye.
There will be many key match-ups for the Dogs as they try to halt Bridgewater’s run to a fourth victory.
Pyramid Hill’s defence is up against Bridgwater captain Josh Martyn who leads the goalkicking race on 25 goals.
Key players for the Bulldogs include Harding medallist Billy Micevski, captain Steven Gunther, Adrian Holland, Gavin James, Scott Mann, Dylan Morison and Zach Alford.
Best for the Rick Ladson-coached Bridgewater in the win against Newbridge were Charlton Hindle, Darcy Wood, Emile Pavlich and Jack Symons.
The Mean Machine also has the running power and skill of Harry Donegan, Oliver Muggleton, Zane Hoiles and Will Stringer.
Mitiamo will be desperate to break its winless run when it faces Newbridge on the Superoos’ ground at John Forbes Oval.
The Superoos were on the end of a 20-goal thrashing from Inglewood last Saturday.
Premiership-winning players Luke Lougoon and Ross Turner continue to win plenty of the ball, and Andrew Cussen has played well in attack.
Superoos’ coach Jon Varcoe will be looking for a lift in defensive pressure from every player.
Mitiamo’s team to take on the Maroons includes Dylan Clohesy, Jay Reynolds, Rhys Varcoe and Halen Danziger.
Newbridge worked hard to be within 46 points of Bridgewater last round.
Best for the Maroons’ line-up jointly coached by Sam Gale, playing, and Daniel Smith, non-playing, were Dylan Stevens, Dylan Lloyd, Angus Fortune and William Copland.
A red-hot Inglewood is chasing a hat-trick of wins when it hosts Maiden Gully YCW Eagles at Dissy Machinery Oval.
The Darrell Billett-coached Blues struck back from defeats to Bears-Lagoon Serpentine and Marong by winning their past two hit-outs against Bridgewater and Mitiamo.
Key players in Inglewood’s run include Charlie McGaw, Sam Dorevitch, Fergus Payne and Thomas Kennedy.
The Blues’ line-up to take on the Eagles includes Bregon Cotchett, Charlie Ingham, Keelan Payne, captain Nathan Angelino, and Cody Stobaus.
The Eagles had the bye after a nine-goal win against Mitiamo in the third round.
Hamish McCartney kicked five goals in that match and will be a threat to the Blues’ chances.
Brody Green, Nathan Murley and Josh Worsley were best in Maiden Gully YCW’s first win of the season.
The team to take on the Blues includes coach Jay McDonald, Tyler Miles, Damian Wust, Brandon Dimech and Will Noden.
Calivil United is at home to take on Marong.
It’s a massive test for the Demons who played well in a 99-106 result against Bears-Lagoon Serpentine at Serpentine.
Best for Calivil United in that match were Ben Baker, coach Anthony Dennis, ruckman Justin Hynes, and Jake Lawry.
The Demons’ line-up to face the Panthers includes Mitch Avard, Jordan Lea, Brae Mensforth, Thomas Piazza and Evan Ritchie.
Limiting the supply to Marong’s attack is what rivals battled to do in ’22 and so far this season.
A powerful Panthers attack includes Brandyn Grenfell, Kain Robins, Matt Riordan and Ryley Taylor.
Marong also has the run provided by Ben and Corey Gregg, Nathan Devanny, Will Gadsden, Jack and Noah McCaig.
Bears-Lagoon Serpentine has the bye.
Loddon Valley FNL senior footy ladder:
Marong 437 per cent, 16 points; Bridgewater 150, 12; Bears-Lagoon Serpentine 129, 12; Inglewood 117, 8; Pyramid Hill 102, 8; Maiden Gully YCW Eagles 70, 4; Newbridge 31, 4; Calivil United 75, 0; Mitiamo 35, 0.
25 Josh Martyn, Bridgewater.
18 Brandyn Grenfell, Marong.
15 Charlie McGaw, Inglewood.
14 Andy Gladman, BL Serpentine.
13 Kain Robins, Marong.
13 Matt Riordan, Marong.
11 Justin Laird, BL Serpentine.
11 Ryley Taylor, Marong.
10 Keelan Payne, Inglewood.
7 Ben Baker, Calivil United.
7 Andrew Cussen, Mitiamo.