Kalangadoo v Nangwarry
Kalangadoo’s unblemished status in 2022 is likely to remain after it hosts near-neighbours Nangwarry in round six of the Mid South East Football League on Saturday.
Although it is motoring along nicely under reappointed coach Kevin Stark, any thoughts of a sizeable percentage-boosting victory by the Magpies at the expense of the winless Saints can be put to rest.
The home team will start as warm favourites but there is much to commend the visitors including their 14-goal haul at home to reigning premiers Port MacDonnell in round five.
Kalangadoo would do well to follow the example of the Demons and play their best 18.
The seasiders took no chances and recalled coach Simon Merrett and four-time Mail Medallist Will Macdonald as soon as they were fit to play.
One can only wonder if the Saints could have made up the modest 23-point deficit if Merrett and Macdonald had remained on the sidelines.
In Al Lyon, Ben Mules and Michael Krieger, Kalangadoo has the firepower to post a winning score.
Glencoe v Hatherleigh
Ladder leader Hatherleigh emerges from the scheduled bye as the short-priced favourite to win its fifth game for 2022 by making a successful trip to Glencoe.
The Murphies were disappointing in their 18-point loss in good conditions at Tigerland where half of their 10 goals came in the final term.
That final 30 minutes of play was the highpoint of the game for the maroon-and-golds as they whittled back a three-quarter time deficit of 44 points to only two goals with six minutes left on the time clock.
Glencoe would be looking to repeat that same plucky spirit over all four terms in round six as well as copy the endeavour of injured on-baller Dylan Childs.
After being injured in round three, Childs missed round four and then returned in round five with his right upper leg heavily strapped.
Despite the obvious discomfort and his reliance on kicking the ball with his non-preferred left leg, Childs still earned a high ranking in the list of best players for the Murphies.
The two teams met at this ground at about the same time in 2021 with Hatherleigh coming away with a heathy win.
A similar outcome is on the cards this year.
Port MacDonnell v Robe
All going well, some action will finally be seen on the Port MacDonnell Oval for the first time in 2022 when fellow seaside club Robe makes its annual 310km round trip.
The playing surface has not been ready to host games and the MSEFL draw has had to be re-drawn on a few occasions.
When this edition of The SE Voice went to press, the match was still scheduled for the ground known as “The Bay”.
It is fair to say no club enjoys a greater home ground advantage than Port MacDonnell.
Visiting clubs have great difficulty in mastering the sea breezes, especially when they are kicking towards the clubrooms end.
Robe has been in good touch this season under new playing coach Tom Wachtel and would be looking to cement its position in the top four.
On the other hand, the form of Port MacDonnell has been inconsistent.
It did win at Nangwarry by 23 points last weekend but this was the reigning premiers taking on the reigning wooden spooners.
As the premiership race tightens, the Roosters and the Demons are both aiming for a top two finish by the end of the home-and-away season and the vital double chance.
Kongorong v Tantanoola
Tantanoola takes winning form into its match against its southern neighbours at Kongorong.
The Tigers accounted for their eastern neighbours at home by 18 points as the Glencoe Murphies surrendered the coveted Neil Von Duve Memorial Cup for the first time since 2016.
There was a lot to like about Tantanoola’s performance in this win as Jak Ryan’s team made full use of the breeze in the first and third terms and then withstood a determined Glencoe fightback in the last.
Although they played with plenty of heart, the Tigers did commit unforced errors and turned the ball over too often.
With this in mind, the Hawks cannot be ruled out of contention as they seek their second win of 2022.
As this is looming as the closest match of round six, a large crowd should be in attendance with Tantanoola likely to triumph.