THREE won’t go into one, so which teams will miss out on playing in the Kyabram District Football League finals with two home-and-away rounds remaining?
In the third-last round on Saturday in bitterly cold, windy conditions an off-target Girgarre dropped off the finals pace when well beaten by Merrigum. Stanhope, meanwhile, staged a miracle last-quarter recovery to all but end Undera’s finals hopes while almost certainly booking a finals spot for itself.
Merrigum’s Jack Sinclair, 20, had a milestone match to remember.
In his 50th senior game, Sinclair kicked a goal and claimed the Bulldogs’ best-afield honours.
Fifth-placed Stanhope is on the same premiership points as Lancaster (sixth) and Merrigum (seventh) but with a much healthier percentage than both those sides.
It gets four premiership points for the bye this Saturday and will beat battler Longwood in the final round to hold its spot in the six.
Lancaster is the team under most pressure to hold its spot.
The Wombats had the bye on Saturday and have a potential percentage booster this Saturday against cellar dwellers Ardmona, which will provide them with the chance to improve their current 13 percentage points advantage over Merrigum, the side eyeing off its spot in the top six.
Lancaster has to front up to unbeaten Tallygaroopna in the final round and could be replaced by Merrigum in the top six if beaten.
But for this to happen the Bulldogs have to beat fourth-placed Murchison-Toolamba this Saturday to stay in the finals race. A loss will mean curtains for the Bulldogs in regards to playing finals.
Undera, four premiership points in arrears of both Lancaster and Merrigum and with a competitive percentage, should get the points in the last two rounds. But it has to rely on both Lancaster and Merrigum dropping both games to be a chance of sneaking into the finals at the eleventh hour.
X Stanhope got up off the floor to KO Undera in an amazing game in challenging conditions at Undera on Saturday.
The Lions were held goalless for the first three quarters in an arm wrestle and were 16 points down going into the final stanza. But in an inspired burst they booted five last-quarter goals while restricting Undera to a solitary point to steal the game by 15 points.
The efforts of the in-form Stuart Trevena, Drew Haebich and Jorge Maxwell were crucial in the vital win. They received plenty of support from Alec Young, Nathan O’Reilly and Sam Woodward.
Undera had prime movers in Cody Tancred, Zac Brian, playing his 100th club game, and Jake Cormick while Shannon Hockey, Mark Giansiracusa and Tristan Castle were also influential in Undera holding what look to be a matchwinning lead at the final change.
X Girgarre found it hard to buy a goal against Merrigum in the clash at Merrigum.
The Roos could manage only two goals for the game while kicking 15 behinds and suffered a 66-point loss.
The Bulldogs were much more decisive in attack, slotting 14 goals in the challenging conditions.
They were able to cash in on the work of Jack Sinclair, Jake Ross and veteran Geoff Connally in particular while Jake Parkinson, Sam Barbagalo and Sean Reidy also did telling work in the win.
X Violet Town, as expected, was too good for Ardmona in the only other game for the round although the Cats did manage to kick three goals.
x Merrigum versus Murchison-Toolamba and the clash of the top two sides, Tallygaroopna and Nagambie, will highlight this Saturday’s penultimate round of games.