With the first half of season 2014 behind us the top three positions appear all but locked in, but the fight for the final two places in the five should make the back nine very interesting indeed.
St Pauls V East Brighton (McKinnon Reserve)
Every clash between last year’s grand finalists seems to be an epic and this one at McKinnon Reserve will be no exception. St Pauls has been back to their best in the last in the last month, winning their past four matches by an average of 52 points. But East Brighton has conceded just five goals since their Round Seven loss to Dingley and on that impressive form it’s hard to see the Doggies kicking a winning score.
East Malvern V Dingley (Dunlop Reserve)
The Dingoes have swept all before them so far this year and this week they take on East Malvern, who has been one of the real surprise packets of 2014. Although I expect a spirited performance from the Panthers on their home deck, I reckon Dingley should win this comfortably.
Chelsea Heights V Heatherton (Beazley Reserve)
This year is going from bad to worse to the Tunners and after nine straight losses it’s hard to see them avoiding relegation. I’m tipping another percentage-booster for the Heighters.
Bentleigh V St Kilda City (Bentleigh Reserve)
Both these sides are locked on three wins each and are separated by just 0.61%, so this should be another close result between two evenly-placed clubs. Hard to pick a winner with any certainty here, but I think St Kilda City should lift after four straight losses.
Cheltenham V Clayton (Jack Barker Oval)
Currently sitting seventh, the Clays need to claim a big scalp if they are to make the top five. Although they’re not without a chance here, I reckon Cheltenham is too good a side to drop this one at home.
DIVISION 2 -ROUND 10 Preview
with Jason Barbin
As we enter the second half of the season, the battle for the remaining finals spots is well and truly alive.
Mordialloc vs Highett (Ben Kavanagh Reserve)
The Mordialloc train looks to keep rolling against Highett who need to bounce back after a loss against Skye. The Bloods are tough to beat at home and will be looking to maintain their hold on top spot. A loss for Highett could see them drop out of the top 5. Mordialloc by 19 points
Murrumbeena vs Moorabbin (Murrumbeena Park)
This looms as the most important game of the season for Murrumbeena. If they are going play finals this season, they need to win this game and they need to win big. A loss in this game and finals will be a near impossible task. Their struggles in front of goal must be resolved or Moorabbin could cause an upset. Murrumbeena by 27 points
Hampton vs Skye (Peterson Street Reserve)
A big game for Hampton as they look to make a move into the top 5. But they come up against the best defensive team in Division 2 and the Bombers won’t make it easy for them. Hampton have been impressive the last two weeks and will need to bring their best if they are any chance to beat Skye. Bombers have a secured a top 2 spot but with top spot still up for grabs there’s still work to be done. Skye by 13 points
Doveton vs Caulfield (Power Reserve)
This is a danger game for Caulfield. Barring last week’s game against Mordialloc, the Eagles have been super impressive without getting the win. Look for them to keep their slim finals hopes alive in what should be an exciting contest. This game will be a lot closer than the ladder positions may indicate. Doveton by 7 points
Springvale Districts vs Oakleigh District (Springvale Reserve)
This is a big game. A loss for Oakleigh and their finals hopes may be all but gone. They come up against a Springvale team who have shown they are contenders for the flag and a move back into Division 1. These two sides always put on a good show and I expect this game to be no different. Match of the Round. Springvale by 9 points
DIVISION 3-ROUND 11 Preview
with Andrew Paloczi
Round 11 kicks off with a Friday night game at Hallam Reserve and the Hawks will be desperate to record their second win for the season. They are in with a realistic chance against Endeavour Hills and it should be an entertaining match.
Sandown is in good form and will be at Edinburgh Reserve against Carrum Patterson Lakes. Although CPL starts as the clear favourite, Sandown should make it work hard for the points.
Ashwood has a couple of things in its favour, with its recent wins and a game at Essex Heights Reserve. There is a big negative though, as Mount Waverley is the visiting team. More than 100 points separated these sides last time they met and it looks like a tough day awaits the Magpies.
Black Rock hosts South Yarra. The Lions go into the contest with a bit of confidence after a win, but the class of the Jets should prove decisive.
Dandenong is at home against Lyndale. The Redlegs are trying to make it four losses in a row for the Pumas, but Lyndale should prevail.