Mid SE sides ‘regroup’ as season reaches halfway mark

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Mid SE sides ‘regroup’ as season reaches halfway mark

Followers of the Mid South Eastern Football League would welcome the resumption of the home and away matches on Saturday as Round 9 marks the halfway mark of the minor round.

The competition took a break last Saturday for the annual SE Zone regional carnival hosted by South Gambier at Blue Lake Sports Park in Mount Gambier.

With the MSEFL fielding two underage teams and one senior side, the results were mixed.

The juniors were stand-outs in many respects while the MSEFL overage side could only match the new Limestone Coast Football Netball League for the first half and then succumbed by 55 points.

Followers of representative football can now follow the fortunes of the SE Zone team as its heads to Victor Harbor in mid-July for the annual South Australian Country Football Championships.

The MSEFL is certain to be represented in that team but one would expect the side to be dominated by players from the LCFNL and the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League.

Mount Burr v Glencoe

The battle between third-placed Mount Burr and fourth-placed Glencoe at Mick and Jean Walker Oval at Mount Burr is the stand-out contest in round 9.

Some may say the 2024 MSEFL premiership race has already become a two-horse contest between unbeaten Hatherleigh and Robe with whomever occupies the other two places in the minor round merely making up the numbers.

Nevertheless, the Roosters and the Eagles still have three months to go before the major round gets under way and injuries and illnesses might yet wreck their finals campaigns.

Mount Burr and Glencoe both need the premiership points to maintain a buffer between themselves and reigning premiers Kalangadoo and league heavyweights Port MacDonnell.

The visitors would like to take home the Ian McInnes Memorial Trophy which honours the memory of the late Mount Burr president and secretary.

Glencoe does not like playing at the Mount Burr Oval even though it is only an 18km trip along the Overland Track.

Their reluctance may be related to the fact they have lost their past two grand finals at this picturesque venue to Hatherleigh in 2008 and to Kalangadoo in 2019.

Injuries have kept Zacc Cocks and Patrick Mitchell out of the Glencoe 21 in recent weeks and I think they would have been selected in the MSEFL team if fit.

The trump card might well be Alex Hentschke but he has to contend with the multi-talented Wallis brothers who are the best defenders in the MSEFL.

Mind you, Hentschke has the longest kick in the competition and he is playing on the shortest ground in the competition.

I think the Murphies will throw off the hoodoo of the Thomas Drive venue and will lower the colours of the Mozzies.

Hatherleigh v Tantanoola

The interleague game at Mount Gambier had few silver linings for MSEFL but one was the contribution made by the Hatherleigh Football Club.

The unbeaten ladder leaders supplied five players and this was more than any other club in the competition.

Onballer Mikey Telford was adjudged the team’s most valuable player, ruckman Sam Waring and wingman Lewis Walker were also listed in the best players and forward Paddy Chay was the side’s best Under 21 and a goal kicker.

You can bet this group will again dominate when Hatherleigh hosts Tantanoola.

If there is a gloomy tone about the ground, it might be the reaction to the news the adjacent golf course will close on June 30.

It has fallen victim to rising maintenance costs and declining patronage.

Ever since the course opened in 1976 with the strong support of the Hatherleigh Football Club, it has been quite common for footballers to relax their pre-game nerves by playing the nine holes of the par three course.

Tigerland visitors have one last opportunity to do so on Saturday and then Glencoe players on June 22.

Nangwarry v Kalangadoo

The Saints are off the bottom of the premiership table but consecutive wins are unlikely given their round 9 opponent is Kalangadoo.

The home ground advantage will help but the Magpies are the reigning premiers and will start as warm favourites.

It will be another emotional time for the Nangwarry Football Club as the funeral of popular footballer Dylan Podobnik is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday).

Port MacDonnell v Kongorong

It has been several years since Kongorong travelled to the seaside and returned from Port MacDonnell with the Ian Smith Trophy.

It sits alongside the Bruce Lightbody Memorial Shield for matches played at Kongorong and it has also seldom left the Bay.

Whenever clubs enter a game without their injured captain and coach, they seldom have favourite status.

The Demons are currently without their mentor Josh Woodall and skipper and fellow Mail Medallist Tim Sullivan but the Demons will still prevail over the Hawks.

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