EAST SUNBURY v MOONEE VALLEY
IF East Sunbury doesn’t end up playing in an elimination final at Joe Brown Oval on the first day of September then it might be the unluckiest footy club in recent EDFL history.
Somehow, the Thunder managed to drop back-to-back home games by a single point and now have their third successive home game coming up here against the ladder leader.
The solace for Glenn Hopkins is that both losses came against quality opponents in the Northern Saints and Roxburgh Park, so the proof is in the pudding that the Thunder can run with the best sides of Strathmore Community Bank Division 2.
The only team the Thunder did not beat in the first six weeks of the season was Moonee Valley, and the Fog now remains the only team yet to go down to East Sunbury.
It seems as though a lot of that early season spark has drifted away from East Sunbury now, and that could spell trouble against the form team of the division.
Moonee Valley is the premiership favourite in the eyes of many after putting together a solid month of recent form that includes two big winning scores against Burnside Heights and the Northern Saints.
The spread of goalkickers last week against the Saints was what stood out most in its 32-point win over the Saints, especially given the absence of leading goalkicker, Jordan Faba.
This will be a good test for the Fog and if it’s close again late, it’ll be fascinating to see how the Thunder handles it.
COBURG DISTRICTS v BURNSIDE HEIGHTS
Another loss here and Coburg Districts is in serious peril.
With huge games coming up against the Northern Saints and East Sunbury in their run home, the Lions simply have to take care of business here against Burnside Heights.
Districts has had two weeks to think about how to approach this one after getting the job done against Hadfield in Round 17.
Last time around the Lions were impressive up at the den and successfully avenged their loss to the Bears earlier in the season.
That surprise Round 5 loss occurred at Cole Reserve and was the first real sign that maybe Districts had lost the sort of touch that got it to Windy Hill last year.
With what Chris Tankard will be hoping is a strong line-up, the Lions will be eager to make sure a repeat of Round 5 does not occur here.
With their season on the line and the Bears now out of finals contention, you’d be expecting Coburg Districts to get the job done.
But don’t be surprised if the Bears deliver one final nail in the Lions’ finals coffin.
Aidan Stott would love nothing more than to deny one of the division’s more-fancied teams a finals berth.
ROXBURGH PARK v HADFIELD
The Magpies have had some great wins in 2018 but Saturday’s effort was probably it’s most important of the year.
It not only kept Roxburgh Park in the top two hunt… it also created a bit of a cushion between it and East Sunbury.
The Magpies’ run home is somewhat kind with the Hawks here and the Bears up next, but it does end with a trip to the construction site to face the current ladder leader in Moonee Valley.
So it’s important Roxburgh Park stays professional and takes care of business in this upcoming fortnight of fixtures.
Its current percentage should be strong enough to maintain third spot but to climb up into the top two come the end of Round 21, it probably still needs a top up.
That’s not good news for Hadfield.
The Hawks’ improvement through the second half of the season has been pleasing to see, but there’s no sign that they’ve improved enough to give Roxburgh Park any real worries here.
This should be a percentage-booster.