‘Big guns’ play for more than pride

All eyes were always going to be set on Casadio Park this Sunday with Limestone Coast Football Association heavyweights International and Gambier Centrals facing off.

But the top of the table senior men’s and high-profile senior women’s battle will carry extra significance on and off the pitch.

Not only is it Indigenous Round meaning Inter will don their stunning white playing kits designed for the occasion, but the annual Foodbank Food Drive will also greet people at the gates.

The drive is one of the biggest occasions on the Steeline Bendigo Bank LCFA Premiership Cup calendar with thousands of dollars and donations being made to the non-profit charitable organization supporting those who have difficulty finding food.

Donation tins will be located at the gate of Casadio Park with patrons encouraged to drop many foods from tuna, canned meals, vegetables, fruit, soup, spaghetti, pasta sauce, long life milk, jams and spreads.

More than 440kg of food was donated at last year’s Food Drive which equated to 884 meals for hungry people around the community, while some monetary donations were also received.

The Foodbank Food Drive has become an annual event in its own right along with the Indigenous Round which has in play since 2015.

It’s the seventh occurrence of the special event and the timing could not be any better with game day also coinciding with the opening day of NAIDOC Week.

The action on the pitch should live up to the hype with both sides currently enjoying 7-1 records, but only one can remain at the top after Sunday.

Although the Lions are the reigning premiers, the form guide backs Inter after the latter secured a hard-fought 2-1 win at MGA Park.

On a heated day when 10 cards were handed out, a stunning comeback saw the black and blue still the game in the final 20 minutes where Sam Bueti and Caleb Casey made the difference.

The women’s teams can also play some exciting games against one another, but after missing nine senior players last week, the lady Lions will be sweating on the fitness of their squad to take the fight up to an undefeated International outfit which shows no signs of slowing down.

The Blue Lake v Apollo fixtures also have the potential to be intriguing.

James Stephenson’s men will eye a chance of getting back into the winning notion after a tight defeat to Centrals where they let the game slip in the second half once again.

If the Rangers can hang tough for the first hour of football, they could be in with a chance.

The women’s game has the makings of a classic with Apollo’s women looking to close the gap to second-placed Blue Lake on the ladder.

The blue and white players demonstrated their devastating best against an understrength Centrals last week, but the Rangers have also showcased their scoring prowess on many occasions including last weekend.

Blue Lake prevailed 2-1 in an enthralling battle back in round 4 and would be disappointed if the result is not replicated.

Naracoorte’s senior men will be aiming to keep cementing themselves as the fourth best team by collecting a confidence-boosting win over the building Millicent side.

Augustine Halumwane is the name on everyone’s lips after his hat-trick propelled the yellow and black past the Rangers, but his Senior Women counterparts should find life much more difficult against a steely Millicent team.

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