Anzac clash headlines bumper round

The biggest occasion on the Bendigo Bank Western Border Football League arrives this Monday when North and South Gambier face off for their traditional bumper Anzac Day 

Crowds will gather at Vansittart Park to celebrate the Anzac spirit and pay respects to those who served their country in the military.

The moving Anzac Day ceremonies including the Ode and Last Post will set the scene before the Tigers and Demons take centre stage.

But the home side has a battle of its own ahead coming up against the leading early candidate for the minor premiership.

The Demons looked flawless cruising past Millicent and East Gambier in the opening two rounds.

Ominously for the rest of the competition South is not quite at full strength and at times has looked to be humming along in fourth gear.

Coach Brayden Kain has been at his dominant best kicking seven goals, but has a lot of supporters around him from the experienced in Brodie Foster and the young in Mitch Sims.

But the team has suffered some setbacks with Mason Hein (split liver) and Josh Woodall (ligaments) out of action for a few weeks.

North has a point to prove after going down to West Gambier in a classic encounter last round and losing the previous Anzac Day battle by 94 points.

The Tigers still played with plenty of hunger and desperation led by Jake Schutz and Hamish Telford in a contest that went down to the final second, but the wounds from losing after a 21-1 opening quarter would still be healing.

In addition to scoring some big bragging rights, players will give it everything to receive the prestigious Tony Casadio Medal named after the great Mount Gambier man who fought in the Vietnam War.

East v Casterton Sandford

The Cats v Dogs rivalry has some extra meaning this Saturday at the “Kennel” where East Gambier and Casterton Sandford chase some much-needed premiership points.

Jayden Eldridge and Matt Scanlon have endured a tough start to life as co-coaches after a pair of defeats to North and South Gambier.

Depth in the senior ranks has not been the club’s friend, but the extra week off would have given the think tank plenty of time to analyse where the team is at and with plenty of hard-nosed veterans still floating around expect East to show some grit.

Casterton Sandford has taken a giant leap forward in 2022, but its excitement from the breakthrough win in round 1 was dampened by a reality check against Millicent.

The reigning premiers dominated the fixture with Billy Galpin and Hamish McCrae showing some fight.

A win is critical for both teams to generate some early season momentum.

Millicent v West

The West Gambier Roos hopped into the Easter break with a spring in their step after a thrilling win over North and they are hoping to spark more surprises at McLaughlin Park.

Although the Tigers dominated the first term, some inspirational efforts from Daron McElroy and Jordan Williams pulled the Roos back into the contest and they held on in a two-point thriller.

It was a significant moment for the club being McElroy’s first win in charge and his coolness under pressure can match it with the best.

After missing the road trip to Island Park, Clint Gallio should return to lead Millicent into battle.

Following fine efforts from Dylan Bromley and Josh Werchon, the Saints will be eager to improve on their kicking accuracy and keep building their title defence.

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