LAKE WENDOUREE V NORTH BALLARAT CITY
at CE Brown Reserve, Sunday, 2.15pm
LAST MET: round 9 this year - City 10.12 (72) d Lakers 5.5 (35)
LAKE WENDOUREE (6th):
NORTH CITY (4th):
North Ballarat City will take an unchanged line-up into battle against Lake Wendouree in the Ballarat Football League at CE Brown Reserve on Sunday.
Unfortunately, this means tall forward Sam Dunstan is again missing – leaving City much smaller across the board than it would prefer with leading goalkicker Will Young (hamstring) still out and another key forward Marcus Darmody still biding his time in the reserves after a season-long rehabilitation program.
Last time these neighbours met it was North’s big man power which was instrumental in it taking charge.
James Cusack (finger) and Josh Bromley-Lynch (ankle) also failed to come up, but Mitch Giddings (ankle) has been named after some concerns.
North Ballarat coach Shane Skontra said one of City’s biggest areas of improvement had been its ability to find ways to win no matter how well it was playing.
He said this had been crucial in its past two wins against Melton South and Ballarat when below full strength and its best form.
With a bye to come in the last round, a win here will lock in a finals berth.
Lakers will also be underrmanned – losing defender Gus Kirby (broken hand) and Caleb Hepworth (broken finger), most likely for the rest of the season. Their absence is going to hurt.
Lake Wendouree coach Dale Power said it was exciting to be in finals conversation. However, this will not be enough to ultimately satisfy Power, who said it was in Lakers’ hands to make it happen.
When Lakers last played City, Power felt North was the best team they had faced. Lake Wendouree was swept away in the opening term and never allowed to get back into contest, with its game plan largely falling apart.
Since then though Lakers have regrouped twice beaten Bacchus Marsh and will be much more equipped to meet whatever challenges North throws up.
PREDICTION: Lake Wendouree
B: T. Littore, L. O'Connell, W. Henderson
HB: O. Yeung, A. Armstrong, S. Clifton
C: A. Gillett, T. Malone, N. Nash
HF: S. Willmott, J. Elkington, C. McKay
F: N. Pring, B. Taylor, K. Raven
R: L. Hepworth, J. O'Connell, B. Edwards
Int: X. Schuurs, J. Driscoll, H. Robertson, T. McKechnie
Emg: W. Tickner, S. Carey, D. Mahony
In: J. Driscoll (debut - Navarre), H. Robertson,
Out: C. Hepworth, A. Kirby
North Ballarat City
B: B. Simpson , R. Hobbs, S. Scally
HB: B. Leonard, C. Perks, S. Bromley-Lynch
C: S. Willian, D. Jones, O. Nash
HF: F. Loader, M. Johns, M. Gilbert
F: T. Bromley-Lynch, M. Nevett, M. Giddings
R: H. Loader, T. Speirs, S. McCartin
Int: D. Graham, N. Dunstan, B. Draffin, T. George
BALLARAT V MELTON
at Alfredton Reserve, Saturday, 2.15pm
LAST MET: round 5 this year - Bloods 16.13 (109) d Swans 6.11 (47)
BALLARAT (9th): The Swans are desperately keen to finish the season on a high, with just two outings remaining in what has been a lean campaign.
Ballarat has lost its past six, with offensive firepower just not there.
The young and largely inexperienced Swans have only once this season topped 100 points and on only five occasions managed to get 10 goals.
They showed some real grit against North Ballarat to get plenty of the ball, but will need to finish off better and find clear targets inside 50m.
MELTON (5th): The Bloods have done a lot of hard work to position themselves to play finals with four wins on end.
They have had victories over teams they have been expected to beat and crucially secured the points in 50-50 games against North Ballarat and Sebastopol.
Coach Aaron Tymms says it is now time to ensure Melton achieves it goal with a top six finish.
"It doesn't matter what it looks like (against Ballarat), ugly or pretty, we just need to get the job done."
He said getting a strong start away from home would be imperative to ensure the Bloods delivered.
B: S. Hutchinson, M. Bishop, B. Davidson
HB: M. McGrath, J. Leonard, K. Mellington
C: J. Antonio, T. Constable, S. James
HF: M. Martin, M. Bowman, C. Prendergast
F: J. Sutherland, M. Powling, A. Gray
R: B. Van de Heuvel, L. Wynd, W. Garner
Int: J. Ford, J. Blackburn, D. Kennedy, N. Garner
Emg: T. Conroy, P. Antonio, A. Stepnell
In: B. Davidson
Out: D. Hobbs
B: L. Walker, R. Carter, D. Walker
HB: L. Heaney, B. McIntyre, R. Walker
C: J. Cotter, M. Denham, B. Crofts
HF: C. Griffiths, M. Orr, N. Gale
F: B. Souter, D. Haby, B. Kight
R: B. Archard, L. Ericson, R. Davis
Int: J. Hickey, L. Carter, B. Kennedy, L. Hickey
Emg: B. Mawson, H. Wilde, J. McGregor, K. Wilson, J. May
In: L. Ericson
Out: T. Button
SEBASTOPOL V EAST POINT
at Marty Busch Reserve, Saturday, 2.15pm
LAST MET: round 2 this year - Kangaroos 15.10 (100) d Burra 13.12 (90)
SEBASTOPOL (8th): The Burra is still hurting after a disappointing loss to Melton - a setback to its finals aspirations.
Coach Leigh Hutchinson says it now has no choice but to throw everything at the game as if it was a final.
"It's time to step up." And that means a positive start.
He said Sebastopol would need to apply and sustain as much pressure as possible to the dangerous East Point and make it more difficult than usual for the Kangaroos to find targets - which they have plenty of - in attack.
Brett Goodes, Tony Lockyer and Tom Petersen will again have to lead by example in the backline.
EAST POINT (1st): The Kangaroos continue to take all before them.
Not even missing the likes of Paul Koderenko, Matt Johnston, Jake McQueen and Jacob Brown at various times of late has caused any issues, such is the depth in the camp.
As well as a great line-up of recruits this year, confidence and self-belief have been keys to East Point's improvement.
And they will again be important against a desperate Sebastopol, which pushed the Roos to within 10 points earlier in the season.
PREDICTION: East Point
B: J. Wilkinson, T. Petersen, B. Hutt
HB: B. Goodes, J. McNab, T. Lockyer
C: J. Harvey, L. Cassidy, M. Austin
HF: J. Onley, J. Keeble, T. Hutt
F: J. Richards, M. Powell, G. Lovett
R: N. Hausler, R. Noether, C. Dummett
Int: B. Trew, D. Widgery, S. Butler, M. Cain
Emg: J. Morgan, B. Weightman
In: M. Austin
Out: J. Morgan
B: C. Lovig, J. Brown, L. Dahlenburg
HB: C. Bilney, J. Van Meel, D. Tung
C: B. Whittaker, J. McQueen, A. Nestor
HF: J. Johnston, L. Thornton, M. Rotumah-Onus
F: M. Johnston, B. McDougall, J. Ottavi
R: P. Kodorenko, M. Walsh, D. Semmens
Int: A. Maconachie, J. Taylor, C. Carson, J. Gallagher
Emg: L. Faull, R. Walsh, R. Monument, T. Clark
In: M. Johnston, J. Brown
Out: J. Payne, R. Monument
SUNBURY V BACCHUS MARSH
at Clarke Oval, Saturday, 2.15pm
LAST MET: round 9 this year - Cobras 15.13 (103) d Lions 13.10 (88)
SUNBURY (7th): It is desperate stakes for the Lions. Defeat will not mean the end of its finals hopes, but it will make it tough.
The Lions unquestionably play their best at Clarke Oval and they have to make the most of it.
Coach Ben Jordan said if it could play as well as it had shown at home all season, Sunbury was a big chance of extending the Cobras' bad patch.
He said getting away to a good start would be imperative, especially knowing that while the Cobras had had some big wins they had shown vulnerability in tight contests.
The Lions lose VFL duo Lachie Bramble and Mitch Conn, but are confident of getting back Aaron Christensen and Nathan Wood.
BACCHUS MARSH (3rd): The Cobras are in a rut with four losses in five games - the last three on end leading into a bye.
Coach Travis Hodgson remains confident that they can get back to their best and press for a top two finish, but also acknowledges they need to lift. A form reversal is not just going to happen.
While he described a loss to Darley as "deplorable", the other defeats were all about not making the most of opportunities.
The Marsh regain Liam Mullen (food poisoning) and Logan Blundell (calf).
PREDICTION: Bacchus Marsh
B: R. Allen, P. MacDonough, N. Wood
HB: A. Duhau, J. Fenner, N. Bridgland
C: D. Landt, M. Conn, C. Hansen
HF: J. Landt, G. Valles, W. Healy
F: L. Berry, J. Bygate, J. Hannett
R: J. Eales, G. Hay, A. Magin
Int: B. Guthrie, D. Sanderson, B. Mundy, R. Wood
Emg: D. Jurczyluc, T. Stead, T. Lenaz, M. Wright, A. Christensen
In: R. Allen, N. Wood
Out: L. Bramble, J. Bygate,
B: L. Phyland, D. Velden, L. Mullen
HB: M. Chisari, T. Angwin, J. Bolton
C: D. Phyland, T. Shea, H. Coulton
HF: B. Speight, J. Owen, D. Bishop
F: R. Stuhldreier, A. Willitts, B. Griffiths
R: D. Burton, H. King, J. Chisari
Int: K. Dickson, N. Stuhldreier, D. Foley, L. Blundell
Emg: J. Homewood, J. Dickson
In: L. Mullen, L. Blundell
Out: J. Homewood, J. Dickson