UNDEFEATED and top two on the senior footy ladder, Sea Lake Nandaly and Wedderburn clash in this Saturday’s sixth round of the Goldacres North Central Football League season.
It’s a huge test for the Redbacks who have marked four victories and a draw as they come up against a Tigers line-up which has won all five contests.
After a 56-all draw in round one at Donald, Wedderburn has won by margins of 59, 22, four, and 54 points.
A superb run by the Tigers has included wins by 78, 133, four, 114 and 146.
In the past two rounds, Sea Lake Nandaly has shown just how much attacking power it has.
A tally of 10 goalkickers in the Tigers’ latest win at St Arnaud was led by Tom Cox and Billy McInnes on five, and Wade Donnan on three.
Sea Lake Nandaly ruckman Ryan O’Sullivan was North Central’s best in last Saturday’s inter-league clash with Sunraysia and looms as a major threat to Wedderburn’s chances.
A quality Tigers line-up includes Kane Donnan at centre half-back, Trent Donnan at ruck-rover, Tom Summerhayes, Zac Wemyss on a wing, and Bryce Delmenico at half-forward.
Wedderburn’s latest match on home turf at Donaldson Park ended in a nine-goal win against Wycheproof Narraport.
Will Holt booted four goals as Isaac Holt, Joseph Lockhart and Lowry added two each.
It will be the Redbacks’ pressure at centre ball-ups and stoppages that will be a key to halting the Tigers’ run.
The Redbacks have brought in Danny Benaim.
Key players for Wedderburn include Jordan Rosengren, Jackson Guan, Jordan Hargreaves, Corey Lowry, Mitch McEwen and Hamish Winter-Irving.
Boort faces St Arnaud at Boort.
The Magpies hold fourth place, but by just one per cent after a loss at Charlton in the sixth round.
The Andy Hawker-coached Boort will be determined to chalk up another home victory.
Boort has brought in Sam Dewar, Patrick Murphy and Levi Roberts-Moss.
Players to watch for Boort include Cody Gunn and James Falconer in attack, Keirin Wilson and Darcy Hawker at half-back, Brodie Leonard-Shannon, Mitch Buchanan, and rover Matt Chisari.
It’s been a tough season for the Saints who were outgunned by a ruthless Sea Lake Nandaly the previous round.
Ins for St Arnaud are Lachlan McQuilken, Jason Rogers and Jacob Tillig.
The play of William Bertalli, Mitch Birthisel, Matt Goode, Conlan Gunn, Billy Lovel and Brad Organ will be vital to St Arnaud’s bid for an upset victory.
Donald and Charlton clash at Donald Recreation Reserve.
It’s been contrasting on-field fortunes for the Royals and Navies in recent weeks.
After three rounds, Donald was fourth in the premiership race and a win-loss tally of 1-1 and a draw.
Charlton was beaten in its opening three games and sat last on the ladder.
Since then the Royals have been defeated by Sea Lake Nandaly, 114 points; and at Birchip by 26 points to slide to the sixth rung.
Charlton’s season duck was broken in a 60-59 win at St Arnaud in round four and followed by a second half fightback to win at home against Boort by 19 points.
The Navies are now threatening to charge into the four.
The clash at Donald is crucial for both clubs.
Donald will be desperate to get the season back on track as the Navies chase three wins in a row.
The Royals will be without Ross Young and Daniel Venditti for this contest.
Donald regains ruck-rover Rian McGough, Cooper Anderson, Leigh Burke and Darcy Harrison.
Key players for the Royals include Brendan Goss, Seamus Young, Michael Foster and Josh Potter.
The Donald defence will have to work hard to limit the impact Rhys Thompson has on the contest.
Charlton’s attack was led by Thompson has he kicked five goals in a best afield performance against Boort.
The Navies have brought in Joseph Tormey for Patrick Soulsby.
Other players to watch for Charlton include Joseph McGrath, Jordan Collins, Anthony Judd, Aaron and Ben Walklate, Kade Blow, Thomas Finlay and Riely Thiesz.
Birchip Watchem plays Wycheproof Narraport at George Cartwright Oval in Birchip.
The Bulls will start favourite to mark their fourth victory of the season.
Will Sheahan kicked four goals in North Central’s clash with Sunraysia and will test the Demons defence all match.
Other players to watch for the Bulls include Lachlan Ryan, Dale Hinkley, Sam Simmons, Ruben Vesikuru, Stefan Pye, Lachlan Foott, and Chol Majok in the ruck.
The Demons scored 4.12 in their most recent hit-out at Wedderburn.
Ins for the Demons are Aaron Henneman at centre half-forward, Trevor Rumbold at full-back, Dane McLennan, Kaleb Kennedy and Rhylie Botheras.
Spencer Allan, James Coatsworth, Corey Jones, Lachlan Longmire and Hadrian Prest are out of the Demons line-up.
Wycheproof Narraport will look to Sam Turner, Adal Zuk, Lachlan Allison and Guy Chisnall to lead the way.
All matches start at 2.30pm.
North Central FL senior footy ladder:
Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers 410 per cent, 20 points; Wedderburn 159, 18; Birchip Watchem 164, 12; Boort 64, 8; Charlton 63, 8; Donald 68, 6; Wycheproof Narraport 74, 4; St Arnaud 43, 4.
Written by Nathan Dole