Two top five encounters and an important clash between teams near the bottom of the ladder headlines this Saturday’s Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 action.
Coming off their crucial win against North Heidelberg last week, Greensborough will be determined to continue their good form when they travel up Grimshaw Street to face Bundoora at Yulong Reserve.
The Boro picked up their seventh win of the season when they came from behind to defeat the Bulldogs by eight points last Saturday, all but assuring the men in green of another finals appearance.
The debut of Matthew Kreuzer proved to be a great success, as he managed ruck duties around the ground while kicking two goals. But it’s the tireless defence of Jack Johnston, Nicholas Riddle and more recently Angus Seivers that has helped Greensborough regain form.
A win for Bundoora will get them one step closer to securing a double chance spot as while they sit comfortable in third at the moment, the potential for West Preston-Lakeside (who are six points behind) to make the top three race interesting is high.
The Bulls picked up a much needed victory over Macleod a fortnight ago which came off the back of two consecutive losses. Following the split round break, Michael Ryan’s side will look to finish the regular season strong.
This game is also set to be another milestone reached for Bundoora co-captain Brent ‘Nipper’ Marshall who’ll run out for the 200th time in the white and blue.
It was a classic between these two sides when they last faced off earlier this season as the Bulls came from behind to sneak a four-point win over the Boro at War Memorial Park. Don’t be surprised if Saturday’s encounter is just as close.
Warringal Park will host another important match this weekend when ladder leaders Heidelberg take on West Preston-Lakeside.
Both sides head into this fixture coming off consecutive wins as they look to reach top form heading into September.
The Tigers have been the benchmark of competition throughout the whole season and once again showed their class after defeating a competitive Hurstbridge outfit by five goals in their last match two weeks ago.
While only eight points clear on the top of the ladder, its hard to see the Tigers losing enough games to drop out of the minor premiership race and that will be more so if they get up over a much improved West Preston-Lakeside.
Following a 104-point drubbing at the hands of Bundoora just over a month ago the Roosters have won their last four matches, including a big 59-point victory over Northcote Park in which they only conceded three goals.
Its turned Rob Maiorana’s side from a team that could miss the top five all together into a team that could again cause some damage in this year’s finals campaign.
Star ruck’s Sam Gilmore and Matthew Harman will be looking to dish out silver service to their midfielders while the goal kicking battle between Josh Minogue and Aidan Tilley will be an intriguing one.
Heidelberg made a massive statement when these two last met in Round 9, winning by 11 goals, but you would expect the Roosters will make sure the ladder leaders work hard for their four points in what’s set to be an entertaining battle.
In a match that will have a massive say in the relegation stakes, Northcote Park and Whittlesea will do battle at Bill Lawry Oval.
Both sides sit on three wins each and occupy the bottom spots on the ladder, meaning the implications of this game will be season defining.
Since their big win over Macleod nearly a month ago, the Cougars have struggled to reproduce that performance again, dropping their last three matches and failing to pass the 50-point mark in their previous two.
The key to victory will come through the likes of Alexander Boyse and Jack Sammartino who have had excellent seasons for the Cougars.
Whittlesea have shown to be a more competitive outfit than what was produced by them in the first half of the season as despite falling in their last five matches, they’ve only lost those games by a combined margin of 77 points.
Both Mitch and Jake Wild have been imperative to the Eagles improved performances, so too has Blake Fitzgerald and Brody Bell.
It was a brilliant contest when these two sides last met in Round 9 as despite a big comeback from Northcote Park, Whittlesea sent the home crowd into a frenzy after holding on to a three-point win.
A win for either side on Saturday could be enough to resume in the top flight in season 2023.
Montmorency will host a Macleod with the Roos still believing they can secure a finals appearance.
This Saturday is the second match of a cruel five-week span for the Roos in which they play all top five opponents.
It means at least a few upsets will need to occur if they’re to overtake Greensborough into fifth spot but as they’ve shown at times this season, they can take it up to the best.
Two losses to Northcote Park this year as well as a loss to Whittlesea could come back to haunt Craig Hayes’ side but will still take confidence from their last meeting with Montmorency in which an 11 goal to one last term was required to give the Magpies the win.
Garry Ramsay’s men continue to charge towards a strong finals campaign with just one defeat since the start of May.
It was another strong performance last weekend which saw them run away with victory over Whittlesea. Star forward Danko Bzenic kicked six and Liam Wale-Buxton starred once more for the Pies.
Montmorency will still have their sights set on the minor premiership but either way, Macleod will have a real challenge on their hands come Saturday afternoon.
North Heidelberg will be looking to bounce back when they host Hurstbridge at Shelley Street Reserve.
The Bulldogs were dealt with a huge blow to their top five aspirations last week when they fell short to Greensborough. Mathematically, they’re still in the hunt to book a third consecutive finals appearance in the top flight, but they’ll need to rely on plenty of results going their way to make it a reality.
Regardless, Jason Heatley will still expect nothing short of a win against a Hurstbridge side who have come back to life after disappointing period.
The Bridges sit in eighth only by percentage as they look to create a gap between them and the Cougars and Eagles, but after defeating Bundoora away from home three weeks ago then and going down to top-of-the-table Heidelberg by only five goals in the following match, Hurstbridge could have some tricks up their sleeve to secure another season in Division 1.
Sunny Brazier, Joel Naylor and Cooper Perrin and have been pivotal to the Bridges throughout the last few weeks and will need to be just an influential in the run home to ensure safety.