Contenders look to end season on high

Trafalgar's Rhys Holdsworth lines up during his side's round 17 win over Yinnar. photograph hayley mills

Trafalgar's Rhys Holdsworth lines up during his side's round 17 win over Yinnar. photograph hayley mills

FOOTBALL

MID GIPPSLAND

It is All Abilities round in the MGFL and Yinnar and Boolarra have embraced the concept and will face off at Yinnar to kick off round 18 action this weekend.

Unfortunately for Boolarra, this will be one of those rare weekends where Yinnar will field their best side and with just a week until finals you can expect the premiership contender to show no mercy.

As the season draws to a close Yinnar will turn their attention to being the best they can in the next month while the Demons will turn their attention to season 2019.

Hill End v Yarragon

The Panthers will travel to Hill End with an expectation that this will be an opportunity for yet another win.

Yarragon, despite their ladder position, have been a team that demands respect for their ability to remain in the contest with any side in most instances throughout the season.

Hill End's hopes of success were put to bed early through injury and a lack of depth and the fact they put a team on the park each week should be applauded.

However, the Rovers at home would give themselves a chance of finishing their season on a high by claiming a win over the Panthers.

It will require their best effort, but it is possible, and it may well come down to whether Yarragon show the run, skill and pressure they have done for most of the year.

It would be encouraging for underdogs Hill End to have a fairy tale finish but Yarragon may have something to say about that.

Newborough v Thorpdale

Thorpdale finally bounced back to something like their best last week when they trounced Hill End in a one-sided affair.

How they fare this week

may well depend on which Newborough side turns up to play.

Mirboo North had the Bulldogs for breakfast last week and coach Tom Hallinan would have been disappointed with their performance.

You can anticipate a better showing from Newborough this weekend as they plan to send the Blues to their elimination final the following week with a loss under their belt.

This contest will be hard with a load of physical contact and in some ways may be a perfect preparation for Thorpdale as they prepare for the faster pace of finals' football.

The Blues found plenty of avenues to goal last week and you can expect them to do much the same this weekend.

YYN v Mirboo North

This match up promises to be the match of the round as the second-placed Bombers host the reigning premiers and fourth-placed Mirboo North.

Most coaches would agree that having a real contest prior to a finals campaign is the perfect preparation for players as they condition themselves for the fast pace, the harder hits and the extra pressure.

The two sides have earned the right to take part in the business end of the season and would want to assume some sort of control over the other with a win.

Mirboo North have had a terrific back half of the season and whether they are up to countering the pace and the quality of Yallourn-Yallourn North on their home deck is the big question.

What is assured is a first-class game that will also give us an indication of which team is likely to play a major part in the weeks ahead.

Morwell East v Trafalgar

Morwell East have the perfect opportunity to send a message to several people against Trafalgar this weekend.

In reality, however, even a win will have the Hawks at best missing the five by percentage and lamenting all the lost opportunities they had during the season.

Trafalgar can expect a committed and hard Morwell East side but are probably also wary that a side too physical might have an impact on players wanting to take part in finals footy.

Bloods coach Clint Einsiedel will want a "finals-like" effort and will be disappointed with anything less.

With a week's break after this match you can expect Trafalgar to continue on their winning way.

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