Now or never for Tigers and Cats

North Gambier v Casterton Sandford

With two weeks to go and effectively one spot up for grabs, North Gambier and Casterton Sandford know their season could hinge on an hour and a half of football this Saturday.

After West Gambier’s win over East Gambier last weekend, it has effectively sealed one of the two remaining finals berths and fittingly the other two contenders will face off at Vansittart Park.

This time the Cats and Tigers must head in the right direction to take themselves to the promised land.

Currently both sides have 5-9 win loss records, but North occupies fourth spot due to its superior percentage.

This makes the road trip even more important for the Cats, who are still licking their wounds from a 90-point defeat to South Gambier while wearing their heritage guernseys.

The Victorians could not contain the Demons’ fast style and must be able to mount a fightback against a Tigers team with plenty of superstars of their own.

The midfield battle between Nick McInerney and Dylan Ayton will be one to watch, while the likes of Matt Killey, Tom Foster and recent débutante Elwood Geary will need to find a way to slow down the rampaging Sam Stafford.

Both teams can draw to previous one-on-one battles for inspiration, but this third and final battle of the home and away season carries so much more weight.

The Cats can turn to 2019 as inspiration when they just knocked out the Demons in a sudden-death clash with a big second half, while North only just avoided a similar fate last year.

East Gambier v Millicent

There is not as much on the line at McDonald Park when East Gambier takes on Millicent, but there will still be a good vibe.

Many greats of the Western Border world will be at the “Kennel” as the club celebrates the premiership reunions of its champion sides from the 1970s and 80s.

In 1983 East overcame Millicent the old Dogs will be watching the modern day Pups try to take the fight to an improving Saints side, boosted by the returns of Clint Gallio and Tom Hutchesson which will be no easy task.

Although the likes of Shaun Lock and Keenan Dwyer showed some spark last week, but the challenge of slowing Millicent’s delivery to Dylan Bromley will loom large.

South Gambier v West Gambier

The sides occupying first and third on the ladder will head to Blue Lake Sports Park keen to continue some strong patches of form.

For the Demons the equation is simple, keep doing what it has done for the last eight games which is fun teams ragged.

For the Roos, after wrapping up a tough scrap for a finals berth, they now have their sights set on causing some trouble with the big boys before September.

During patches West has given South some headaches and assistant coach Nathan Lewis wants to see a more sustained effort.

“Although we (West) lost both games by seven goals, a lot of their work was done in a short amount of time, so we have been pretty competitive against South,” he said.

“They have some firepower, but I think our backline is a lot more settled than the last times we have played them.

“Our goal is to challenge in the finals and we do not want to put in a stinker this week and we do not want to have that going into finals, so we have to plan well because it’s an important game.

“No excuses and hopefully we can be better for longer and take the fight across four quarters.”

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