Burras appearing vulnerable
The pressure is on in Wimmera Football League and the needle this weekend is pointing directly at Minyip-murtoa.
The Burras, a competition pace-setter for the past couple of years, are appearing vulnerable to say the least.
Forget the team’s result last week against Stawell.
While the Warriors are getting harder to beat as the season progresses, it was a game most expected MinyipMurtoa to win.
What’s becoming notable is that the Dunmunkle outfit, on paper at least, seems to lack its trademark venom.
Circumstances involving depth, injuries, player availability or simple form can often explain a team losing its killer edge.
Whatever it is, the Burras find themselves in a tough fight this weekend.
The Burras play Horsham Saints at Horsham’s Coughlin Park in a contest that could go either way, depending on which team arrives on the day best ready to play.
A question mark also sits over Horsham Saints, who after a crushing win over Southern Mallee Giants but without its unavailable star pathway teenagers, crashed by three goals against Warrack Eagles last week.
Minyip-murtoa sits precariously in fifth place on the ladder and the Saints, after briefly tasting top spot, are now third.
Both will be well aware that they have entered the business end of the season.
Converting midfield possessions into goals looms as a potential problem for both sides, although finer conditions might open more scoring opportunities.
Last week the likes of John Delahunty, Clint Midgley, Matt Coleman, Cooper Bateson and Gus Trethowan flew the flag in a dogfight with Stawell.
For the Saints it was the irrepressible Xander Mcrae, coach Luke Fisher and Andrew Devereaux who tried to lead their team on another winning venture.
None of this will be lost on the players, and fans at this game can expect dogged effort from both camps.
Eagles still there
Warrack Eagles, fresh from scoring a rebounding win over the Saints, will listen with interest for results as it overwhelms Dimboola in a battle for the Borung at Dimboola.
The sixth-placed Eagles, a game behind the Burras, are another team hopping around somewhere in the finals mix and last week’s win would have been a significant confidence-booster for Ryan Mckenzie and his men.
Mckenzie was at the front of the charge, alongside Nick Peters, fivegoal Jeremy Clayton, Shannon Argall and Ben Spicer.
Dimboola is off the pace, despite the efforts of Josh Edgar, Justin Beugelaar and co, and the Eagles, light on for percentage, will be on the hunt for a big win.
Fourth-placed Southern Mallee Giants blew any frustrations it might have kept from a bad loss to the Saints with a big win over the Roos.
Giants back on song
This week the Giants travel down to Nhill where the Tigers, while being competitive, have a tough first half of the season.
The Giants were back on song at Hopetoun last week with Leigh Stewart, Sam Weddell and Haydn Drew leading the charge.
In the end it was the Giants who had 48 scoring shots to Dimboola’s five, with 13 players in the winning side kicking goals.
At the same time Nhill was no match for rejuvenated Ararat, which after the efforts of Dan Mendes, seven-goal Lachlan Hamilton and Harry Ganley, sits second on the ladder with a chance this week to regroup with a bye.
The Tigers are always hard to beat at home and will challenge the Giants for at least part of the contest.
Nhill, with Jordan Zeitz, Liam Albrecht, Ben Jones and Scott Hughes all good last week, cannot afford to again give its opponents a big head start.
Reigning premier Horsham, sitting unbeaten on top of the ladder, could be forgiven for being a little ambivalent to all that’s happening beneath it.
The Demons, after a rest, take on Stawell, which has a loss, win, loss, win, loss record for its past five games.
Stawell had Naish Mcroberts, Tom Taurau, Jackson Dark and Bailey Taylor in good nick last week, but will need all hands on deck to beat the Demons.
IN DISPUTE: Ararat’s Tom Mills and his Nhill opponent Harry Wheaton get tangled in a fight for a loose ball at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER