The stage is set for one of the most exciting and intriguing rounds in the recent history of MPNFL football with all 22 senior teams taking realistic winning hopes into this week’s round of matches.
The top four in both divisions collide with Southern Peninsula heavyweights Dromana and Sorrento locking horns at Pier Street, while Pines host Bonbeach at Eric Bell Reserve in a huge test of the division one credentials of the Sharks.
Can Trent Dennis-Lane and his Bonbeach teammates give reigning premier Pines a run for its money at Eric Bell Reserve on Saturday? Picture: Riley Lockett/Frankie Photography
The ‘Battle of Frankston’ will also be huge this week with Frankston YCW and Frankston Bombers sitting sixth and seventh on the ladder and running out of chances to play finals football this year. The winner not only takes bragging rights – but builds huge belief that they can challenge the big boys when the fun stuff comes around in late August.
But – despite the quality on show – the division one battles take a back seat this week as the most highly-anticipated contest on the Mornington Peninsula takes place at the Red Hill Showgrounds where the Hillmen roll out the red carpet for Karingal.
The Bulls won their round-one engagement against the Hillmen by nine points, with both teams compiling extraordinary winning streaks until last weekend – when the Bulls went down to Seaford by 11 points at Belvedere Reserve.
The Bulls have a tough run ahead and will need to triumph to keep their minor-premiership hopes alive. Can the Bulls limit the ball movement of Red Hill, or will Jamie Mollo and his men confirm the popular belief that the Hillmen are the team to beat for this year’s premiership flag?
And the action doesn’t stop there in division two with Chelsea and Langwarrin putting their double-chance dreams on the line in a cracking contest at Beardsworth Avenue. The Seagulls have won 10 of their last 11 games while the Kangaroos have found some great form in recent times – winning seven of their last eight.
Who will emerge as the big challenger to Karingal and Red Hill?
Seaford host Somerville in another must-win game for both teams, while sixth-placed Hastings will look to keep its hopes alive when it makes the short trip to Tyabb. Brendan Fevola showed his class with a nine-goal haul against Devon Meadows last week and his availability will surely have a big say in the contest.
Hastings’ star Brendan Fevola celebrates one of his nine goals against Devon Meadows on Saturday. Picture: Gary Bradshaw/Frankie Photography
And even at the foot of the ladder, the contests are set to be exciting with Devon Meadows and Pearcedale looking for their first wins since early April when they collide at Glover Reserve.
And Mornington and Mt Eliza will cap things off with a huge game at Alexandra Park on Sunday, with the Bulldogs looking to make it back-to-back wins and keep their division one hopes alive.
The last-placed Doggies are currently one game and percentage behind Edithvale-Aspendale and will need to win at least two more games to avoid being relegated to division two for the first time in club history.
What a cracking round of matches as we begin the run home to the pointy end of the season!
Full previews of this week’s round of matches will be available Friday on the GameFace Record App.
THIS WEEKEND’S FIXTURE
Division One – Round 13
Dromana (3) v Sorrento (1)
Pines (2) v Bonbeach (4)
Rosebud (5) v Edi-Asp (9)
Frankston YCW (6) v Frankston (7)
Mornington (10) v Mt Eliza (8) – Sunday
Division Two – Round 14
Red Hill (1) v Karingal (2)
Chelsea (3) v Langwarrin (4)
Seaford (5) v Somerville (7)
Tyabb (9) v Hastings (6)
Rye (8) v Crib Point (12)
Devon Meadows (10) v Pearcedale (11)