The Blues need to take stock. It is not the side it was last year. Too much seems to be left to too few. Paul Pattison, Nick Visser and Dylan Williams have been terrific but others tend to mix their form. Nilma have not been a patch on the side that come out to play in the opening month of the season. Since then it has struggled to cobble together one good quarter. The Campbells still put in every week, Luke Bartlett provides strength around the ground and Mitchell Dance a target up forward but the other pieces are not falling into place.EDFL website
This match represents a mini-final. The loser can probably kiss good bye to an elimination final berth.
The home team will find the visitors a tricky adversary. With the quality of Adam Cook, Ben Wragg, Shaun Phelan and Tom Johnson the Eagles were able to cut a swathe through the Lang Lang defence last Saturday. Whether that a means the Bankers have turned the corner after a mid-season form slump is hard to gauge – but the end margin of 97 points was impressive. Buln Buln had a ground-breaking win last week over Catani to stay in the finals race. It lacks punch in front of goals but scraps as hard as any team in the competition. Got to admire the grit of the Lyrebirds led by evergreen ruck Matt Gray while its youngsters continue to shine the most recent being Matt Notman who used his pace well to bag four goals last week while wingman Jake Pierrehumbert is another rising star with a bright future. It’s a toss of a coin matchEDFL website
The Cats have made good inroads in the second half of the season but beating the Dusties looks a bridge to far. It was competitive for long patches at Longwarry last week just lacked a bit of polish.
In Nathan Bayne, Jack Ward, Aiden Dibsdale and Dean Stringer the home side has enough midfield run to make sure the visitors don’t get things all their own way because last week the Dusties afforded the Nyora on ball brigade far too much freedom. Down at half time last week the Dusties playmakers Tyson Bale, Shane Brewster and Tye Holland all took it up to their opponents but coach Joel Morgan must be disappointed a few more of his charges did not step up when required. While it should not have a large problem with Neerim the Dusties will need to make a few adjustments to its line up if it is to threaten the top sides come finals time.EDFL website
The Magpies have given supporters a bumpy ride but look to be getting it all together at the right end of the season. With three teams to play all outside the top five starting this week it has a big chance to consolidate a finals spot. Young gun Jai Newcombe who kicked three goals continues to show he is adapting quickly to senior football while utility Chris Robinson and defender Jayden Sullivan keep on staking a claim to be among the recruits of the year. On a dry day The Tigers went to water last week against Ellinbank and surrendered tamely. It is surely indebted to Troy McPherson for his efforts this year against all the odds.EDFL website
The Saints beat the Crows by five points in round 6 and most of the factors to come into play again suggest another nail biter. Nyora were very impressive last week in despatching Warragul Industrials. Like a good side it started and finished strongly. With Dylan and Jesse Heylen, Ryan Spooner, Rhys Bancroft and Sam and Tim Burns it seized control of the midfield. This week it can expect stiffer competition because Longwarry boast a midfield equal if not better with Russell Lehman providing the grunt and Riley and Brody Rundell, Kane Oldham and Danny Wells the pace. The duel between ruckman Nick Redley and Nick Carrigy will be a beauty and good well determine the result. The Crows will need to nullify Ben Schultz and Iian Osman who kicked 12 goals between last week and nine goals between them when they played Longwarry first time around. Longwarry is riding on a crest of a wave and can make it nine in a row in a thriller.EDFL website
All match previews taken from the EDFL website. To view original article in full visit http://websites.sportstg.com/assoc_page.cgi?client=0-6159-0-0-0&sID=121132&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=62770849
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