Blockbuster battle awaits

The 2022 Steeline Bendigo Bank Limestone Coast Football Association Premiership Cup enters its third round this weekend and it will entail one of the biggest moments of the year.

Ever since losing the 2021 LCFA Senior Men’s grand final eight months ago, Apollo has had its eyes on revenge and there is no better location to hurt Gambier Centrals than MGA Park.

It was this fixture at the same venue in the opening round last year when Apollo announced itself as a contender by beating the Lions straight after the latter’s Steeline Cup victory.

Say Wah’s expertise in front of goal made the difference that day and he warmed up for this big battle by helping Apollo overcome Naracoorte 5-0 with the help of Reuben van Eyk and Sharnay.

Despite the success at MGA Park 12 months ago, the blue and white could not repeat the result for the remainder of the season.

Centrals were a cut above in the decider at Casadio Park to cruise to a first flag in five years and have shown no signs of slowing down after knocking over Millicent and Naracoorte with ease, but this game is the team’s first big test.

Not only is the game a grand final rematch, but the Dyson-Vanderlay Shield is on the line so both teams will not hold back.

The women’s contest will also be an interesting one with both sides coming in after contrasting weeks.

Apollo is flying high having recorded 15-0 victory where Zoe Brooksby, Daylia and Isobelle Fewster all scored four-goal hauls.

The team also pushed reigning premier International to the edge in a tight defeat.

The Lions went to the top of the ladder after round 1, but COVID-19 concerns brought the side’s momentum to a halt against Millicent.

Scott Dickson hopes to have a full-strength team back at his disposal for what shapes up to be a tight clash at Blue Lake Sports Park on Saturday.

When Blue Lake and Naracoorte come face to face at Malseed Park, a great opportunity awaits for the clubs respective men’s teams.

The pair could find themselves battling for the final available spot in the top four later in the season, so early bragging rights will be vital.

The Rangers have the benefit of a big win in their previous home game, but the confidence in their young side would have taken a hit by International last week.

Naracoorte is yet to get off the mark having endured a tough draw and would have circled this clash as a must win.

Having just suffered a painful defeat in the grand final rematch, the Blue Lake Senior Women’s team should get the job done against a raw Naracoorte outfit.

Casadio Park will be in action for the second week in a row with International hosting Millicent.

With the men in green having already conceded 23 goals in two games and Inter star Matthew Bueti in hot form, the hosts should cruise to a mighty win.

The International Senior Women’s team will also be confident of continuing their unbeaten start to their title defence after overcoming Apollo and Blue Lake.

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