BOORT and Charlton face massive tests when the 14th round of the Goldacres North Central Football League’s senior footy competition is played this Saturday.
Teams return to action after a two-week break because of 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.
Claiming the four premiership points are crucial for Boort and Charlton as they chase the fourth-placed Donald.
The Boort Magpies take on the second-placed Wedderburn at Boort Park.
When these clubs met in round seven the Redbacks beat the Magpies by 63 points at Wedderburn’s Donaldson Park.
Latest victory for the Redbacks was by 71 points at St Arnaud’s Lord Nelson Park.
A powerful Wedderburn attack includes Tom Campbell, 15; and Ben DeAraguo, 12 goals in two matches.
The Redbacks will be without Will Holt who has kicked 20 goals.
The Magpies will need to work hard to lessen the impact the likes of Joe Lockhart, Hamish Winter-Irving, Louis Holt, Jackson Guan and Jordan Rosengren have on the contest.
Wedderburn has brought in Jayden Leach and Ashley Younghusband for Isaac Holt and Darcy Jackson.
Boort’s latest hit-out ended in a 46-point loss on Birchip Watchem’s turf at George Cartwright Oval.
The Magpies will rely a lot on Cody Gunn, 18 goals; Braeden Deary, 16; to finish off the attacking moves.
Boort’s attack against the Bulls was led by Lance Malone and Keanu Padula.
Key players for the Andy Hawker-coached Magpies include ruck-rover Matt Chisari, Keiren Wilson and Jesse Muscatello across the half-back line, Mitch Buchanan in the ruck, as well as Ben Knight, Darcy Hawker, Levi Roberts-Moss and Brodie Leonard-Shannon.
Charlton takes on the in-form Birchip Watchem at Charlton Park.
A great run by the Bulls includes a nine-point win at Sea Lake in round 10 played on June 26.
Earlier in the season, Birchip Watchem beat Charlton by 42 points.
A powerful Bulls’ line-up includes Daniel Castellano, 24 goals; Will Sheahan, 17 goals; Lachlan Foott and Stefan Pye across the half-forward line; key defenders Dale Hinkley and Ben Hogan; and Brady Hore in the centre.
The Bulls on-ball division of Doug Grining, Lachlan Ryan and Jacob Christie is capable of winning many centre breaks and clearances.
Charlton will need big games from the likes of Angus McKenzie in the ruck, Ben Walklate in the centre, Sam O’Connor at half-forward and Rhys Thompson in attack.
The Navies also have the experience of Tim Hill at centre half-back, Anthony Judd and Aaron Walklate, and skill of Joseph McGrath, Kade Blow and Riely Thiesz.
Donald tackles St Arnaud at Donald Recreation Reserve.
The Royals are chasing a fourth consecutive victory.
After a 56-all draw with Wedderburn in round one, Donald then had a win-loss tally of 1-4 to be sixth.
Donald has struck back brilliantly to beat St Arnaud, Boort and Wycheproof Narraport in its past three games.
Key players in the Royals’ run include Bryan Beckham and Leigh Burke who kicked seven goals apiece in the win against Wycheproof Narraport.
Beckham is out of this Saturday’s clash.
Ross Young, Rian McGough and Darcy Harrison starred for Donald against the Demons.
The Royals have brought in Michael Foster, Brendan Goss and Beau Griffiths for Bryan Beckham, Will Burke and Daniel Venditti.
In the most recent showdown between Donald and St Arnaud the Saints worked hard to be within 11 points at half-time, but the Royals scored 7.4 to 2.4 in the second half to complete a 41-point victory.
St Arnaud will look to Angus Grant, Brad Organ, Lachlan McQuilken, Harley Durward, Conlan Gunn and Brady Tillig to lead the way.
The Saints have brought in Will Bertalli and Jarryd Kell for Billy Lovel and Jake Male.
The ladder-leading Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers face Wycheproof Narraport at Sea Lake Community Centre.
The seventh round clash between these clubs ended in a 133-point win for the Tigers.
Sea Lake Nandaly is powerful on every line, while the Demons have battled for goals all season.
The Tigers regain gun ruckman Ryan O’Sullivan and have also called up Tyson McKenzie as Lee Cox and Kris Stevens are out.
The Tigers have the likes of Billy McInnes, Wade Donnan, Will Simpson and Matt Elliott to test the Demons’ defence.
Kane and Trent Donnan, Bryce Delmenico, Brody Weir and Luke Martin are capable of winning plenty of contests for the yellow and black.
A tough run for Wycheproof Narraport does not become any easier.
Adal Zuk, Dane McLennan, Rowan Jones and Guy Chisnall were best in the Demons latest match.
The team’s leading goalkickers on eight are Lachlan Allison, and former North Melbourne star Corey Jones who has played just three games.
Standings in the Goldacres North Central FL senior footy competition:
Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers 306 per cent, 32 points; Wedderburn 149, 30; Birchip Watchem 192, 28; Donald 113, 18; Charlton 64.5, 12; Boort 64.4, 12; St Arnaud 54, 8; Wycheproof Narraport 43, 4.
Written by Nathan Dole.