East face tough test to hold first
East Point v Darley
MATCH of the round as one versus two in the McDonalds Ballarat Football League and this game really shapes up as a potential grand final preview. The Kangaroos regained top position on the ladder with a gutsy victory over Bacchus Marsh, while Darley halted Redan’s momentum with a convincing 43-point victory at home. Devil’s on-baller Nick Graham has put in back-to-back best on ground performances in recent weeks as he solidifies himself as one of the premier midfielders in the competition. Conversion rates have been a big dilemma for the Kangas this year with the club going well under 50 per cent in front of goal in the last month. If Jake Bridges men don’t get it right this weekend, they can kiss top spot goodbye. Prediction – Darley by three points.
Melton v Melton South
Archrivals meet for the second time this year with the Bloods desperate to get back on the winners list in a big way after a horror shock loss to Ballarat last weekend. Twice the Bloods have travelled to Ballarat this year, and twice they have been beaten by sides that arguably should not be getting near this premiership contender. Back at home this week, they will be looking to dish out there travelling frustrations on the bottom placed Panthers. Prediction – Melton to rebound at home.
Bacchus Marsh v Lake Wendouree
Off the back of the bye the Lakers make the trip up to Maddingly Park and would fancy themselves to potentially cause a little upset against the Cobras who have dropped their last two. The Marsh were out classed by Sebas a couple weeks ago and in the wet battled hard against the East Point juggernaut, but with Henderson Medallist Dan Burton cleared of any wrongdoing for that ‘sling tackle’ he should lead his side to victory in this one. Prediction – Bacchus Marsh by 25 points.
Redan v Sebastopol
The Lions dropped two positions on the ladder with a loss to Darley last week while Sebas were a couple points away from creating a bit of daylight between them and the challengers for the top-six. The heartbreaking one-point loss still meant the Kookaburras moved up the ladder to fourth on percentage, but with them, Melton and Sunbury are all in at tight tussle on 24 premiership points. A win or loss in this one is crucial in deciding where they will finish. Prediction – Sebastopol to upset the Lions.
North Ballarat City v Ballarat
Both sides got on the winner’s list remarkably last week with North too good for the Panthers and the Swans recording their first win under senior coach Joe Carmody. The Swans have been really competitive in the last month and the breakthrough win solidifies the great job Carmody has been doing with such a young group. North will likely recall Ryan Luke to strengthen their defence and with their captain Simon McCartin playing the kind of footy that saw him a Henderson Medal favourite only a few short seasons ago, it hard to go past them in this one. Prediction – North Ballarat City by 18 points.