BUNINYONG and Gordon both know the consequences of defeat on Saturday.
A spot inside the Central Highlands Football League top four is on the line, with the winner of this encounter guaranteed a double chance in finals, while the loser is likely to slip to fifth and be forced to embark on a tough route to the premiership.
The Bombers have bolstered their playing stocks following a shock loss to Beaufort last Saturday, adding defenders Chris Wills and Tyler Dittloff – back from injury lay-offs – and young Billy Jones, who is back after serving a one-week suspension.
Buninyong coach Jarrod Morgan was disappointed in the loss to the Crows last week, which followed a draw with Waubra and wins over Bungaree and Hepburn.
“We have got a pretty young side and it’s hard to keep everyone mentally up every week after the month we had before (Saturday),” Morgan said.
“It’s probably a good time for it to happen if it had to happen, I suppose. With Hepburn winning (against Bungaree), it turned out to be a bit costly.”
Morgan said heading into finals on the back of winning form was more of a focus than clinching a top-four spot on the ladder.
“Obviously it would be ideal to finish top four but I’m more worried about just playing good footy,” he said.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of confidence out Gordon way. The Eagles are second on the table and take on the Bombers on the back of 11-straight wins.
“We are going to take this as a final,” Eagles coach Corey Grills said. “We have got a lot of respect for Buninyong – and so we should – but we need to make sure all cylinders are firing and we need to play our brand of footy.
“We can’t get stuck worrying about the opposition too much. I said it last year and I believe it this year, we can beat any side if we back ourselves and play what we believe in and that’s our mentality going into the weekend.”
Gordon hasn’t named any changes to the team that beat Creswick last Saturday.
PREDICTION: Buninyong to continue its streak on home soil.