Big battles ahead

Some big battles are in store in the fourth round of the 2022 Steeline Bendigo Bank Limestone Coast Football Association Premiership Cup season.

Leading the highlights reel will be two of the biggest clubs in town – Gambier Centrals and International – who will face off at MGA Park this Sunday.

The pair has played many storied battles in the past and their 2022 contests should be no different.

Both sides have enjoyed flawless starts to their seasons and Sunday’s battle will determine who is the early premiership favourite.

Recent history backs the Lions, but they will not be at full strength with coach Brodey Koop leading the injury list following a physical battle against Apollo last week.

However, the Apollo win showcased Centrals’ depth which the club hopes can help repeat the result of last year’s qualifying final.

Since Inter pulled off a stunning comeback against Apollo in the opening round, they have risen each week with high-scoring wins over Blue Lake and Millicent, which means they carry plenty of momentum into this weekend.

Matt Bueti already has two hat-tricks under his belt and will be leading the assault again.

The women’s game should also be an entertaining duel at MGA Park on Saturday afternoon.

The black and blue have continued to go from strength to strength since winning the flag last year and with Ella Doody and Florencia Llambi at full flight they show no signs of slowing down.

Meanwhile Centrals’ best has been very good, but the team has been heavily impacted by player unavailability and hopes a full-strength squad will be available for their biggest test of 2022 so far.

Fireworks could also occur at Webb Street where Blue Lake travels to face Apollo.

The Rangers women will have fresh legs after their battle against Naracoorte was postponed and they want to reaffirm their place as one of the major contenders following a character-building loss to Inter.

Since James Stephenson took over Apollo’s senior women’s team, the squad has shown greater confidence and belief on the pitch.

The blue and white pushed the reigning premiers to the edge, but could not get the job done, but responded with wins over Naracoorte and Centrals.

The latest was a thrilling upset and Paris Ackland will be eager to do something similar against the preseason carnival winners.

Apollo’s men will also sense a big opportunity to score an important win over Blue Lake.

The boys in blue and white have shown promise against some of the big teams without getting the job done and will need to captilise this weekend to stay in touch.

Its also an important contest for the Rangers, who will be stinging from a tight defeat to Naracoorte and want to show the world they can take it to the finals contenders.

McLaughlin Park is the other venue in action as Millicent plays host to Naracoorte.

The visitors will be the hot favourites in the men’s contest having just knocked off Blue Lake away from home and will be looking to put the struggling hosts under more pressure.

There are doubts as to whether or not the women’s game will take place after Naracoorte was forced to reschedule its round 3 contest with Blue Lake due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

If it does go ahead, a great battle could be in store after Millicent prevailed 4-3 in the preseason carnival.

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