The action doesn’t stop over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, with two big matches set to take place at De Winton Park and Heidelberg Park.
In Meadows Greyhounds Division 1, Macleod hosts North Heidelberg at De Winton Park on Saturday in what now looks to be a blockbuster game to kickstart Round 8.
Macleod remains perched atop the ladder off the back of six-straight wins, however the Bulldogs are in vintage touch themselves and are the only team to have beaten the Roos this year.
The 19-point result at Shelley Reserve in Round 1, where the Bulldogs booted five goals to two in the final term to overcome a three-quarter time deficit, set the scene for what has been a remarkable start to the 2018 season and provides added intrigue heading into this Round 8 outing.
Since losing in the opening round, Macleod has overcome every challenge that has been set before it, including wins in crucial top-four match-ups against Montmorency and Greensborough, as well as downing Bundoora in the grand final rematch.
After four one-sided wins between rounds 2-5, the Roos have also displayed their grit over the past fortnight – coming from 26 points behind to overrun Greensborough, before holding out Bundoora in an arm wrestle last start.
Hamish Paynter, Lucas Hobbs and Brad Leggett were among the best in the win against the Bulls, where the Roos raced to a 24-point quarter-time lead, before fighting back from a half-time deficit to win by eight points. Ben Lennon’s four goals were also important.
The Bulldogs are very much in the finals race in their return to the top-flight and sit just one win outside the top-five after back-to-back victories over Hurstbridge and Heidelberg.
After a close tussle for three quarters, the Bulldogs produced their best quarter of the season to streak away to a 55-point win in the Heidelberg derby. Shane Harvey kicked four of his side’s seven final-term goals, while Brody Tardio was outstanding in a watershed day for his club.
The breakaway win was another message of intent from the Bulldogs, who are not just making up the numbers. They can this week further press their finals case in arguably the toughest assignment in NFNL Division 1 football. A win over the Roos could momentarily propel them into fifth place.
The standalone game in Heidelberg Golf Club sees Division 3 sees a resurgent Heidelberg West clash with St Mary’s at Heidelberg Park, also on Saturday.
Despite losing their opening three games in 2018, the Hawks have since pushed up into fifth place on the ladder and have a winning streak of four games – currently the best in the division.
Meanwhile the Burra sits atop the ladder, courtesy of wins in six of their opening seven matches in Fabian Carelli’s first season in charge.
A fifth-straight win by Heidelberg West may see them move inside the top-four for the first time this year and could also see St Mary’s lose top spot – all depending on other results the following week.
The Burra may be favoured due their Round 1 victory over the Hawks by 74 points.
But Heidelberg West’s team looks much stronger now and they have significant momentum, particularly after last week’s 61-point triumph over Laurimar in front of a big home crowd.