MUNDULLA v SOUTH GAMBIER
THE headline act of the fourth Limestone Coast Football League round is a heavyweight clash between Mundulla and South Gambier tomorrow.
The Demons will take the two-hour road trip up to the Moots’ home turf in their biggest game of the season so far.
Both sides are locked at the top of the ladder with two wins each, but have experienced contrasting journeys.
Throughout the opening rounds, Mundulla appeared to be an early premiership favourite with big wins over Kybybolite and Kalangadoo.
However, the 2019 Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League premiers were unable to chase down Western Border premier North Gambier last week.
After the tight defeat in familiar conditions, the Moots will be desperate to re-establish their home-ground advantage.
Meanwhile, South did not enjoy a flying start with a loss to North, but has responded with a pair of commanding performances.
Fans can expect plenty of entertainment across the four quarters with the competition’s two most dangerous forward lines ready to embark on a shootout for victory.
Thanks to the Demons’ twin towers Brayden Kain and Brodie Foster, they have scored more than any other side so far.
The pair occupy first and third on the leading goal kickers list with Foster on top with 11 majors, while Kain has eight.
But one half of the duo will be absent tomorrow with Foster unavailable for the clash.
At the other end of the ground Mundulla enjoys more variety inside 50 with four genuine options.
Harry Dowling, Jake Mcgrice, Luke Wiese and Nicholas Mosey have all shown the ability to make regular impacts on the scoreboard.
The combination has kicked 19 goals between them and are not afraid to attempt contested marks.
How defenders cope standing alongside the heavy artillery forwards could decide the result of the match tomorrow.
The battle in the midfield will also be intriguing with the Moots’ height up against South’s youth.
Mundulla has used its tall timber to advantage with long kicks and aerial marks a feature of its game.
James Hinge, Nicholas Gregurke, Dylan Mosey and Sam Luckett have featured prominently around the ground and will be tough to stop.
But South will look to challenge its opponents with leg speed and fast ball movement.
Sam Willis has generated plenty of excitement in South colours on loan from Millicent and had a break-out four-goal game last week.
Youngsters Kyle Jones and Colby Munro have also impressed with their pace and will be tough to catch.
The promising players are surrounded by experienced heads Bronson Saffin and Brett O’Neil, who remain composed in pressure situations.
The Demons are an improved side in 2020, but are about to face their ultimate test against the fired-up Moots.
No matter how the rivals’ unique styles clash on the field, action from start to finish is a certainty.
KALANGADOO v NORTH GAMBIER
THE closest game of senior football for Mount Gambier fans this week will be played at Kalangadoo Oval.
North Gambier will make the trip to play the Magpies for round four of the Limestone Coast Football League season and will enter the clash as favourite.
However, both teams come off hard-fought wins so another surprise can not be ruled out.
The Tigers travelled to play ladder leader Mundulla last week and survived a late push to secure the points by less than a straight kick.
Kalangadoo also had a thrilling round three contest where a second-half blitz allowed it to recover from a goalless first half to defeat East Gambier at McDonald Park on Friday night.
That result certainly adds interest to tomorrow’s meeting, as North was outplayed by the Bulldogs in round two, but the Magpies will still take to their home surface as the underdog.
The match will be a standalone fixture at the venue, as North has no reserves team in the LCFL and Kalangadoo’s juniors journey to Nangwarry to play Kongorong for round four of the Mid South Eastern Junior Football League.
As such crowd numbers could be down but as the only A Grade within a half-hour radius of Mount Gambier, a few keen footy fans could make the drive up.
Kalangadoo’s COVID recruits from Penola have been impressive to say the least and while the Magpies can only play three in the A Grade per game due to the points system, they are sure to remain a focal point.
Brad Bryant has played in every outing so far and is all class, while Harry Porter was the standout against East last week with a best-on-ground performance.
Throw in the likes of the in-form Tye and Sam McManus and Kalangadoo is sure to put up a fight.
However, North is not without its own talent and Nick McInerney will be one to watch again after a game-changing effort last week.
His work on the ball is first class, while Michael Telford and defender Jake Schutz both carry solid form into the match as well.
Jake Stafford played his first game this year after injury concerns and popped up with a major in an evenly spread showing in front of goals.
Another point of interest will be young talent Declan Carmody, who made a reappearance for the Tigers last round.
He will be a threat for Kalangadoo around the ground if he dons the yellow and black again tomorrow.
North shared the ball around with seven individual goal scorers last week, which could spell trouble for the Magpies’ defence.
However, the Kalangadoo backline stood tall against the Bulldogs with defender Mitchel Lowe a crucial link in the Magpies’ new game plan.
He will be looked to for another big input, while Ben Mules has found the big sticks every week and will be out to impress up forward again.
The game has every chance to provide another close result but if the Magpies allow North a foothold early on like they did against East, the Tigers will make them pay for it.
KYBYBOLITE v EAST GAMBIER
EAST Gambier hopes to return to winning ways tomorrow when it travels to Kybybolite for the fourth round of the 2020 Limestone Coast Football League season.
The Bulldogs suffered the first loss of their campaign last week against Kalangadoo under lights at McDonald Park.
Despite the recent disappointment, coach Matt Willson (pictured right) enters the clash with confidence after overcoming Kyby by 51 points in the opening round.
Dangerous forward Kevin Thomson was prolific that day with four goals to mark his return to the “Kennel” in style, while fellow pre-season inclusions Todd Lockwood and Jake Harrap also had an impact.
The trio has given the side’s list a boost of natural abilities, which have troubled every opponent in their way.
Thomson has become the key inside-50 target, while Harrap and Lockwood have generated pace and polish in the midfield.
The pair have settled in comfortably alongside stalwarts Jayden Eldridge, Jake McKeon and Willson.
The backline is led by John Forster, who puts his head down in every contest.
The Bulldogs will look forward to the dry and open surrounds of Kybybolite after being shutdown by the Magpies in dewy conditions.
East struggled to cope with Kalangadoo’s pressure and only scored three behinds in the entire second half of the game.
Willson will hope to make amends for that finish with a percentage-boosting victory over the win-less Kyby.
The Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League side has experienced a nightmare start to the new competition and suffered three heavy defeats.
The club’s defence has been under the microscope this year being the only team to concede over 200 points so far with its three opponents kicking a combined total of 314.
However, Kybybolite’s major strength has already troubled the Bulldogs in 2020.
Kyby has shown the ability to jump off the start line with speed and in round one they kept East scoreless in the opening term.
But the Bulldogs dominated the remainder of the contest to significantly overturn the advantage on the scoreboard.
If Kybybolite can make regular inside-50 entries, Jamie Bittner and Tom Kitschke could be ones to watch after they both kicked a pair of majors in the corresponding fixture.
In the two games since, Bill Munn and Billy Laurie have been valuable inclusions and given Kyby more options to score.
With more depth and the home-ground advantage, Kybybolite hopes to provide a tougher arm wrestle for the Bulldogs.
But it will be a challenge, as Willson’s men will be hungry for another big win and prove they are a premiership contender.