Demons face tough test on home turf

Demons face tough test on home turf

Port MacDonnell v Hatherleigh

Port MacDonnell is home yet again when it hosts Hatherleigh in the match of the day of the Mid South East Football League on Saturday.

The season is only four rounds old but the Demons are about to play at the Bay for the third time in 2024.

That will not bother the Eagles as the harder the playing surface the better as this suits their fast-paced style of play.

Mind you, the seaside playing surface was ideal last September but Hatherleigh was unable to fully exploit this advantage and went down narrowly to Kalangadoo in the 2023 season decider.

Whether that loss will haunt the Eagles in the upcoming home and away game remains to be seen.

The brains trust of the visitors must find a way to thwart the goal scoring power of Colby Munro, skipper Tim Sullivan, Christian Howlett and Alex Redding.

Every member of this quartet is capable of kicking a bag of goals.

Coming into the game, Hatherleigh had a comfortable win at home over Nangwarry in round four while Port MacDonnell had a bruising encounter at Mount Burr but came away without the premiership points.

Eagles skipper Will Chay could be ready to resume and lead his team on to the park at 2pm on Saturday.

If he does, I expect Chay to lead the rendition of the club’s victory song at 5pm.

Kalangadoo v Tantanoola

There can be no excuses for Kalangadoo players to not give 100% when they host fellow winless outfit Tantanoola.

Th Magpies were humiliated at the Robe Oval in round four managing only five majors and going down by 60 points.

It was a lacklustre showing from a team with 14 A Grade premiership players.

Mind you, the Roosters were seething after being stripped of their round two premiership points and score owing to a team sheet error.

The seasiders were playing at home and also had the expert opinions of the Robe Past Players Association coming from the new stubbie stall.

This Saturday, the ranks of Magpie supporters will be expanded with the annual sponsors lunch along with the 10-year reunion of the 2014 premiership side.

Coached by Ben Mules, the grand final win at the Bay ended 13 seasons without the Magpies winning a grand final.

Hosting the upcoming game is another advantage which the Tigers will have to overcome.

There have been a few murmurs coming out of Tigerland about their one-point loss to Kongorong in round four.

The best way of countering that disappointment is to inflict a loss on the Magpies and give them a 0-5 start to 2024 to ponder.

Depending on the outcome of one other game, Kalangadoo might yet find itself on the very bottom rung of the premiership table.

Nangwarry v Robe

Robe supporters are not great travellers to support their side in such far-flung places as Nangwarry with “mums and girlfriends” making up most of their fan base much of the time at such venues.

Let’s hope the Roosters follow the example set by Mount Burr on April 27 when the Saints welcomed a record number of Mozzies.

The seasiders need every ounce of support from their backers in the wake of the round two team sheet saga against Glencoe when the Robe team was stripped of its premiership points and score.

It might be tempting for the Robe entourage to stay at the seaside on Saturday and support their team from afar.

The temptation is even greater when 2024 results suggest the Roosters will easily defeat the Saints.

However, the best way for the Robe Football Club to show that 2024 will be a memorable season is to don the red and white scarves and beanies and hit the road every second week.

Kongorong v Glencoe

A narrow one-point win by Kongorong over Tantanoola at Tigerland in round four might just be the tonic needed by the Hawks to keep well off the bottom rung of the MSEFL ladder.

Luck invariably plays a part in such tight contests but the black and gold team has had little of it in living memory.

Kongorong coach Cam Sandercock kicked a game-high tally of five goals and is the player most likely to stop a Glencoe victory.

It is telling that this was the best return by Sandercock since his five-goal haul at Glencoe in round 13 of 2023.

It was a high-scoring contest in the depths of winter but Kongorong managed a creditable 15 goals.

However, the Murphies had little trouble in posting 24 goals and cantering away to a 57-point win.

I expect Glencoe to win at home but the chances of a Kongorong win cannot be discounted.

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