EAST POINT v DARLEY
(min cost $8)
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at Eastern Oval, Saturday, 2.15pm
LAST TIME: East Point 14.12 (96) d Darley 10.12 (72)
EAST POINT (6TH) – DARLEY (7th)
THE pressure keeps building on East Point and Darley in the Ballarat Football League.
And it all stems from a failure to win early in the season.
Instead of being well cemented in the top six, where they had full expectations of being at this time of the year, the Kangaroos and Devils are fighting for their finals' lives.
Not even last-start wins have eased the pressure. And now they play each other at the Eastern Oval on Saturday.
Darley desperately needs to get the points here. They have a horrendous run home - playing every team in the top six.
East Point has a much more favourable draw, although there are no guarantees given its up and down season.
Kangaroos coach Glenn Wilkins is upbeat after a fighting victory over Sunbury, when they made the most of their chances.
He said East matched up well against Darley and although history counted for little the Kangaroos were unbeaten against the Devils in his three seasons.
Wilkins said these 50-50 games were critical and it was essential to capitalise on them.
Darley coach Jarrod Edwards shared this sentiment. He said although the Devils had the toughest of runs to come, it was not necessarily a bad thing.
Edwards said they not only needed to be good enough to beat the teams above them to make the finals, they needed to be good enough to beat them to be successful in the finals.
Darley has named star Jake Edwards from Geelong in the VFL, with the Cats having a bye. There was talk he would be rested, but he has been selected.
East Point has lost Brad Whittaker to an ankle injury suffered at training on Tuesday. He played his first senior game against Sunbury, kicking three goals, after injury troubles.
Aden Nester is unavailable, but Sam Cooper, who last played seniors in round one, and Jesse Murphy are back.
PREDICTION: East Point
BALLARAT v MELTON SOUTH
at Alfredton, Saturday, 2.15pm
LAST TIME: Ballarat 19.13 (127) d Melton South 13.13 (91), round 10, 2015
BALLARAT (9th) : The Swans go in without suspended Phillip Vivian, who received a four-match suspension on Wednesday night after pleading guilty to having deliberately struck North Ballarat City's Brayden Draffin.The case was referred to the tribunal by the match review panel. It does not make it easier for the Swans, which will banking on making the most of a home ground advantage, but they do regain tall Hayden Hughes.
MELTON SOUTH (11th): Could this be the day of the Panther? If they come out like they did in the first half against premiership favourite Lake Wendouree, it is possible they could win their first game of the year. The Swans have been slow starters. If Melton South can get a jump on them, you just never know, and having the experienced Marc Dransman back will certainly be of assistance.
NORTH BALLARAT CITY v SUNBURY
at Eureka Stadium, Saturday, 2.15pm-
LAST TIME: North Ballarat City 15.8 (98) d Sunbury 10.10 (70), round 15, 2015
NORTH BALLARAT CITY (3rd): Finding the big man power to match Sunbury is now an ongoing challenge with irreplaceable Ryan Hobbs (posterior cruciate ligament) finished for the year. It's running brigade will be the key, with City desperate to make its mark with an important win at home. It importantly has Jarryd Graham back with key forward Mitch Johns, but loses Ben Simpson to the Roosters.
SUNBURY (4th): The Lions lose key tall Joe Redfern to concussion, but importantly retain Geelong VFL-listed Joe Guthrie. Jesse McInneny is a big return after missing four matches, while running midfielder Chris Tasardakis (recruited from Keilor) makes his senior debut after a pre-season setback. Coach Rick Horwood promises one thing - Sunbury will not be gifting a second win in a row.
MELTON v LAKE WENDOUREE
at Melton Rec Reserve, Saturday, 2.15pm
LAST TIME: Lake Wendouree 22.13 (145) d Melton 2.8 (20), round 12, 2015
MELTON (8th): Melton has as usual swung the changes, but this is still well beyond the Bloods - even with Jake Gleeson playing after suspension. While defeat will see them slip a game outside the top six, it will be far from the end of their finals chances with winnable games against Sebastopol and Melton South coming up. The key will be not to do too much further damage to an already lowly percentage.
LAKE WENDOUREE (1st): A second trip to Melton in as many weeks for what should be another win. Melton South provided a small reminder of what can happen if Lakers is off their game. This will certainly ensure the competition leader snaps back into top gear. The Lakers lose Tom Littore with a knee injury, but has defender Scott Carey available again and Eamonn McCluskey on deck.
PREDICTION: Lake Wendouree
SEBASTOPOL v BACCHUS MARSH
at Marty Busch Reserve, Saturday, 2.15pm
LAST TIME: Bacchus Marsh 23.22 (160) d Sebastopol 3.11 (29) -
SEBASTOPOL (10th): The Burra displayed genuine resilience against Redan last round. It stuck at the task, but despite the efforts of Jack McNab, Tom Peterson and Brett Goodes they did not have the depth or class. And it will be same against the physical power of the Cobras' attack and strength of their midfield. Toby Hutt is a big inclusion, while Rokewood-Corindhap recruit Hamish Everett has been promoted.
BACCHUS MARSH (2nd): Fresh from a bye, the Cobras will set about locking in themselves in for their first finals campaign in more than a decade. Expected heavy conditions will not make it easy, as Darley found out a few weeks ago, but this is not a game Bacchus Marsh is about to let slip. Quade Butt from VFL club Werribee is in the for his second game.
PREDICTION: Bacchus Marsh
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