After a week’s rest, the big guns in the 2022 Steeline Bendigo Bank Limestone Coast Football Association world will be running at full steam for victory in round 11 this weekend.
The headline match-up will be taking place at Webb Street where traditional rivals Apollo and International face off.
Their rivalry needs little introduction and the evidence of their battles from this year alone means fans can brace themselves for another classic.
The heat will be at its highest when the senior men take centre stage on Sunday afternoon with the bragging rights currently square and with this being their last duel before finals, neither wants to back down.
The fuse was lit on a huge opening round battle at Webb Street where the blue and white thought it had the job completed.
Gay Nay Say Ler put Apollo into the ascendancy and despite the best efforts of the black and blue, the lead was protected deep into the second half.
However, home hearts were broken when Matthew Bueti scored a hat-trick in the blink of an eye to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
James Stephenson’s team would have been bitterly disappointed to let such a huge game slip and set about getting revenge behind enemy lines in typical winter conditions at Casadio Park.
History almost repeated itself with International staging another second half come back after the blue and white pulled away by scoring twice before half-time.
Bueti was once again at the centre of attention bringing Inter within a goal of glory.
But an Apollo team fuelled by emotion managed to find a response at the critical moment through Shar Nay and get the win they craved.
These two classics set the stage for another almighty battle this weekend.
The result may be unclear, but goals and emotion are near certainties after 13 cards were dished out across the two previous contests.
The biggest question surrounding the senior women’s season is how International can be stopped?
Last year’s premiers have been in top form, winning every game and only conceding goals in three of them.
Coach Ricky McRobert has everyone marching as one with contributors young and old making their mark.
Ella Doody has been the headline act kicking 15 goals, but she has enjoyed strong support from April Hockey and Leonie Robertson, while the grunt work further back has hardly given opposition teams a sniff.
But one side that has been able to make life difficult for International is Apollo.
The blue and white side is the only team to get within one goal of Inter on the scoreboard and this has happened on both occasions when they have meet.
Sarah England, Zoe Brooksby and Daylia Daylia were not afraid to take the fight to their fancied rivals and created a stalemate in the opening round.
Only the speed of Satomi Unayama gave Inter the breakthrough to snag a result, while the rematch was more eventful, but just as tense.
Both teams wanted to get their hands on the Michielan Cup, but the early running suggested Inter was going to march clear yet again.
With a 3-0 deficit just after half time, things looked tough for Apollo, but Rhianna Shelton and Deni Atkin brought the game to life near the end, only to fall one goal short.
But Inter knew they had to give it everything to get the points when walking off on both occasions and they will be prepared for another battle this weekend.
Millicent will be making the journey to Malseed Park to take on Blue Lake with the women’s clash on Saturday afternoon an interesting one.
The Rangers have established themselves as the second best in the competition led by the goal-scoring exploits of Lauren Frost and wants to finish on a high ahead of finals.
Millicent has had an up and down season, but is still a big chance for finals and an upset against a side like Blue Lake across the next few weeks will give its hopes a significant boost, so it is of its interest to push to the final minute.
Although Blue Lake and Millicent occupy ladder positions five and six respectively, the men’s game may not be the closest contest.
The Rangers have had lots of fun in front of the goals against Millicent and hope to have another big result to boost their finals case.
Men’s ladder leaders Gambier Centrals eyes the coveted minor premiership and the first item on the agenda is overcoming Naracoorte.
Although both sides are finals contenders, the gulf between the teams has been evident with the Lions winning by four goals on both occasions.
The lady Lions will also be expecting a win against last-placed Naracoorte to enhance their finals case.