THE unbeaten streaks of Bridgewater and Mitiamo are on the line in this Saturday’s ninth round of the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League’s senior footy action.
The Mean Machine and Superoos will clash at Bridgewater Bakehouse Oval.
Bridgewater goes into this contest after a one-point victory on Pyramid Hill’s turf at Mitchell Park.
Mitiamo has not played since May 22 when it beat Pyramid Hill by 38 points at John Forbes Oval.
The Mean Machine will be without three key players who were handed suspensions at this week’s tribunal hearing.
Liam Jacques (four matches), Darren Clutton (one match), Boden Alexander (two matches) and Alex Powell (one match) will be on the sidelines.
Bridgewater is also without Jayden Donaldson and Nic Naughton for this contest.
Ins for the Mean Machine are Mychael Baker, Caillum Brady, Tom Broadbent, Nic Hall, Xavier Henderson and Jake Rusbridge.
There is plenty of goalscoring power in both teams.
The Mean Machine attack is led by Josh Martyn, 32 goals; Alex Powell, 23; Lloyd Needs, 16; Jarrod Fitzpatrick, 14; and Liam Jacques, 13.
In just four matches, Andy Collins has kicked 12 goals for Bridgewater.
A premiership-winning coach at Bridgewater, Collins has AFL experience from stints at Richmond and Carlton and he led the second-half fightback to overrun Pyramid Hill.
Mitiamo’s leading goalkickers are Tyrone Downie, 21; Ryan Wellington, 19; Tim Brooks, 16; and Brent Downie, 12.
Midfield and onball duels will be crucial.
Bridgewater will look to ruckman Cameron Ross, Fitzpatrick, Zeb Broadbent, Alex Pollock and Peter Rothacker to win plenty of the ball and use it well.
The Bridgewater defence has Rusbridge and Joseph Mayes in the key posts and the skill of Brady, Harry and Jack Symons.
In-form players for Mitiamo include Dylan Mutu, key defender Max Simpson, Lee Dale and Ross Turner.
The Superoos also have the marking strength of Lachlan Woodward in defence, the run and creativity of Luke Lougoon from half-back, Jarryd Wiegard in midfield, and onball stars Lucas Matthews and Doug Thomas.
Stung by a one-point defeat at home, Pyramid Hill is back at Mitchell Park to take on Bears Lagoon Serpentine.
The Bears clawed their way to a one-point win against Maiden Gully YCW Eagles at Serpentine last Saturday.
Both teams are locked on four wins apiece, but the Bulldogs are 103 per cent of the Bears.
Pyramid Hill’s scoring punch will test BLS.
A strong Bulldogs’ attack is led by Braidy Dickens, 36; and Bailey George, 25.
Pyramid Hill goes into this match without James Blood, Brad Driscoll and Matt Ladson.
The Bulldogs have brought in Micheal Bateman, Pat Blood and Nathan Catherwood.
Key players for the Adrian McErvale and Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Bulldogs include Trent Barri in the ruck, Matt Klein Breteler, Scott Mann, Ben Dalton, Jacob Heavyside, Gavin James, Brad Ladson and Billy Micevski.
The Greg Gadsden-coached Bears fought from two goals down at the start of the last quarter to win 77-76 against the Eagles.
BLS had nine players feature on the goals list.
Bears’ ruckman Nathan Twigg was in great form, along with Darcy Poulter, Andy Gladman and Jesse Evans.
There is at least one change to the Bears line-up after Josh Walsh was handed a one-match ban by the tribunal.
Tannar Cerrone is one of the most consistent players for BLS from the centre.
The Bears will also look for big games from the likes of Jeremy Hancock, Miggy Podosky, James Rippingale and Josh Walsh.
Marong takes on Newbridge at Discover Marong Park in Malone Park.
The Panthers attack was ruthless last week as it scored 36 goals on Inglewood’s turf at Dissy Machinery Oval.
Brandyn Grenfell marked his first match for Marong by kicking 10 goals as Kain Robins and Adrian Pappin added nine and six goals respectively.
A tally of 35 goals has Robins in second place in the league goalkicking race.
A talented Marong line-up has the versatility of Richard Tibbett, the skill and running power of Ben and Corey Gregg and Nathan Devanny, and classy forwards Dylan Cuttriss and Corey Jacobs.
The Linton Jacobs-coached Panhers have brought in Harry Graham and ruckman Justin Hynes for Chris Ling and Carl Thiesz.
After such a lengthy lay-off, Newbridge overcame a slow start against Calivil United to score a 31-point on home turf at Simonds Homes Riverside Park.
The Luke Freeman-coached Maroons had not played since a 70-point victory on May 15 at Inglewood.
The Maroons are chasing three wins in a row, but face a daunting task.
After a 0-5 start to the season, Newbridge is now 2-5 and in seventh place.
Some of the Maroons’ best this season have been Harry and Mac Whittle, Dylan Lloyd, Logan Dixon, Mitch Hocking and Ryan Burt.
The play of Ricky Cathie in the ruck, Caleb Argus as ruck-rover, Harry Whittle in the centre and Logan Dixon roving will be important to not allow Marong an easy run from the centre ball-ups.
Maiden Gully YCW Eagles take on Inglewood at Marist College Oval.
The Eagles made a flying start to the season and were second after two rounds.
Since then Maiden Gully YCW has endured a winless run of five games.
A win on Saturday would put the Eagles just four points adrift of Pyramid Hill or Bears Lagoon Serpentine.
Matt Gray marked his second match of the season by kicking six goals for the Eagles in the Bears’ den.
Other key players for the Wayne Mitrovic-coached Eagles include Sam Barnes, Ed and Jordan Crisp, Darcy Graham, Travis Mercadante and Ryan Strauch.
It’s been a tough run for Inglewood’s young line-up.
The Blues will be desperate to bounce back from last Saturday’s performance.
Key players for the Darrell Billett-coached Inglewood include Taj Rodwell, Josh Taig, Cody Stobaus and Daniel Lloyd.
Cade Cohalan and Matt Rowe were among the best last week.
Inglewood has brought in Lochlan Else and Bailey Keck.
The Blues will look to Cameron Martin, Connor Logan and Traiton Kendal to keep the pressure at a high level all game.
In a major blow the Blues are without leading goalkicker Josh Taig and Fletcher Runnalls.
Calivil United has the bye.
LVFNL senior footy ladder:
Mitiamo 304 per cent, 28 points; Bridgewater 267, 28; Marong 223, 20; Pyramid Hill 203, 16; Bears Lagoon Serpentine 100, 16; Maiden Gully YCW Eagles 86, 8; Newbridge 60, 8; Calivil United 30, 4; Inglewood 14, 0.
Written by Nathan Dole.