Top three spot a motivator | Tatyoon v Ararat Eagles @ Tatyoon
The Hawks will hope to build on their top three credentials when they host Ararat Eagles this weekend.
Tatyoon was in great form before last weekend’s bye round, knocking off 2017 premiers Lismore-Derrinallum to move inside the Mininera District Football League’s top three.
The home side should pick up another four points against a struggling Ararat Eagles outfit this week.
The Hawks edged out the Eagles by just 10 points when they faced earlier this season, but Ararat’s side has drastically changed since then and will find it tough to repeat their efforts from that match.
Tatyoon will once again be looking for a spread of goalkickers. The Hawks only have one player in the league’s top 10 goalkickers but have four who have kicked 17 or more.
Three of those players have kicked more than 20 (Riley Wood, 23; Steven Butler, 24; Trevor-John Wanganeen, 25).
The Hawks are just two points clear of fourth-placed Glenthompson-Dunkeld.
Magpies hoping to avenge final loss again | Wickliffe-Lake Bolac v Lismore-Derrinallum @ Lake Bolac
The second grand final rematch of the season will take place this weekend with the match meaning much more for the reigning premiers.
2017 runners up Wickliffe-Lake Bolac have not missed a beat this season, easily accounting for every team they have come across, including the Demons back in round one.
They sit 12 points clear at the top of the table while the Demons sit precariously in fifth place with teams outside the top five applying pressure.
Lismore-Derrinallum has the second best offensive record in the competition but has let crucial matches slip, including a big game before last weekend’s bye.
They let Tatyoon come from behind and win by one-point which helped the Hawks and placed them in danger in fifth place.
With an in-form SMW Rovers side just one win back from Lismore-Derrinallum, an upset victory could be the difference between playing finals and just missing out.
The Magpies will be keen to spoil the Demons’ chances and, for the second time this season, avenge their grand final loss from last year.
The Magpies will place a big focus on shutting down in-form forward Michael Lockyer who leads the league’s goalkicking with 57 goals.
In-form Pumas to take on Bombers | Penshurst v Moyston-Willaura @ Penshurst
The Pumas have a difficult task on their hands to keep their slim finals hopes alive this weekend.
They make the trip to Penshurst to take on the second-placed Bombers in a crucial game for both teams.
Moyston-Willaura sits two games outside the top five while the Bombers are second with rivals nipping at their heels to take their top three place.
The Pumas put an end to a mid-season slump the week before the bye round, defeating fellow finals competitors Woorndoo-Mortlake comfortably to give themselves a chance at playing finals this season.
The visitors have already beaten the Bombers once this season already, recording a hard-fought 19-point win in round one. They will need to be at their best to repeat the effort.
Bulldogs to continue finals surge | SMW Rovers v Hawkesdale-Macarthur @ Mininera
SMW Rovers will look to continue a late surge towards a finals berth this weekend.
The Bulldogs have won their last five matches to move within four points and 15 per cent of fifth-place.
They accounted for Hawkesdale-Macarthur by 36 points in round one but will be hoping to increase that margin this weekend for a much-needed percentage boost.
The home ground advantage should help the Bulldogs.
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