These are the facts, up to six teams can finish in the top two, up to nine teams can finish in the top six, and there are only thirteen teams in the competition!
The pressure has been on for most of the year and as we slowly edge towards the business end of the season that pressure is slowly starting to build.
Hill End v Fish Creek
Hill End were amongst more than a handful of teams that are fighting for a top two spot on the MGFNL ladder, the reason being that come finals time, one and two on the ladder at the end of the home and away season, will play their first final for a direct route through to the 2022 grand final.
Finishing top two is crucial for the easiest passage to a premiership assault, but what should have been easy has now become a little more complicated with Hill End going down to Fish Creek, 6-9-45 to 10-4-64. .
The scenario for the Rovers has now become quite serious.
Mike Santo, Hill End coach "Fish Creek totally out worked us in every facet of the game, they jumped us early and controlled the game, our workrate is borderline embarrassing at the moment and something needs to change quickly if we are to play finals."
What is most disappointing is that Hill End had everything to play for and didn't show up, while the visiting Kangaroos showcased the type of footy worthy of being a finals contender.
John Danckert, Fish Creek coach "It was a fantastic win, we've had a tough couple of months, to take a big scalp like that was terrific. We now head into the bye with momentum and are likely to get half a dozen boys back after the bye and we will look to finish the year off strong."
The Kangaroos, despite their lower than expected position on the ladder, still have some points to prove prior to the seasons end and that spells danger for any opponent they face.
Morwell Easter v Foster Billed as quite possibly the match of the round, given that the Hawks were within striking distance of a top two spot, and their opponents the Tigers, were needing to win away from home to strengthen their tenuous finals hopes, the scene was set for an almighty clash between two much respected and most proud clubs. Foster proved to be the side that responded to the pressure and proved themselves worthy of any rewards that may come their way winning 10-12-72 to 8-8-56. Sam Davies, Foster coach "A really good win by our group, Morwell East have a really strong top six players so it was important to keep good looks and maintain some scoreboard pressure, one day soon we'll kick more goals than points and that'll be a great day." As good as the win was, the effort by Morwell East was also admirable given injuries had the Hawks severely restricted. Devon Soutar, Morwell East coach "A herculean effort, it's fair to say we had our backs against the wall early against a very good side, losing all our rotations after only twenty minutes. Despite digging deep the gap opened up and our weary legs couldn't quite peg it back as a smart Foster controlled the tempo, extremely tough to let important points slip but the resilience we showed was enormous." The pressure remains on both as we look ahead to round thirteen, but a fit and healthy team on the park is priority number one for Morwell East. Stony Creek v Mirboo North The surprise packages of the 2022 season, met in a crucial game for both. I say surprise packages because Stony Creek were never meant to be in finals contention but they were and Mirboo North were supposed to be a genuine premiership contender but they were not. This match was always going to go a long way to determining the immediate future.of both clubs, and it did, Stony Creek 9-16-70 to Mirboo North 6-10-46. The loss, yet another biter pill for the Tigers. Josh Taylor, Mirboo North coach, "we started well but missed some straightforward shots which could have had us by three or four goals, from there it was a scrappy game with both sides making some fundamental errors, us more so than Stony Creek. We still had enough footy but just turned it over too much, that nearly has our season done on making finals, so we might see some different players through the side over the next few weeks." The Lions, impressive run continues, even if there are still improvements that can be made as each week passes. Stony Creek coach, Jay Acardi " Well we faced a pretty determined Mirboo North who pushed us all day, at times we let ourselves down with poor skill errors and decision making, we have plenty to work on before we face another strong opponent in Hill End," So from here, the Tigers build for 2023, but for Stony Creek there is still much to look forward to in 2022. Tarwin v Toora Comfortably sitting atop the MGFNL ladder, Tarwin have rightly earned the title of being the benchmark side of the competition. The Sharks have suffered just the one loss for the season, that being just a fortnight ago against Boolarra, and they were never going to suffer that same fate to the bottom of the table Toora. Tarwin 18-12-120 comfortably accounting for the Magpies 4-4-28. Troy Hemming, Tarwin coach "It was a great win by the boys, this time of the year is always dangerous, Toora played bravely and tried to play a modern brand of footy which was pleasing to see. well done to the great Ferg Warren on snagging his first goal of the season" There is no doubt the Sharks are enjoying their footy, whilst for Toora the battle continues to find their first win. Matthew Ponton, Toora coach "We played hard and stayed in the contest all day, good ball movement from back to middle but lack connection going forward, we had plenty of forward entries for little result, credit to Tarwin as they are a classy side." The Magpies will now look ahead to Thorpdale, a side they will see as beatable in a clash that could provide them with their first win of the 2022 season. Thorpdale v Newborough Newborough had been setting themselves for the challenge of playing Tarwin, last week for so long that they may have played the game in their heads too much ahead of the first bounce. This week, it was back to the basics and taking it one week at a time, an approach that proved to be far more successful for the Bulldogs as they not only secured the four premiership points but also jumped into second on the league ladder on the back of their 21-15-141 to 9-5-59 win. Craig Skinner, Newborough coach "Thorpdale turned on the perfect weather conditions for football in July. We started well, taking the opportunity to use the ball against an undermanned Thorpdale, Joel Mitchell brought the XL sized wings and flew at everything in his area finishing the day with twelve for the day, he was well supported by Jayden VanDyk and Josh Hecker. The wheel turns quickly and we head into a block of finals defining games starting with Yinnar, who have top end talent on every line and a swagger in their step after beating Boolarra on the weekend. For Thorpdale, the frustrations of not being good enough for long enough continue for coach Ray Pickering " Like most games we played some good patches or quarters but can't sustain the effort allowing a slick opposition to gain momentum and roll through us too easily." The Blues now look ahead to Toora, a game that Thorpdale would see as winnable and one which might also be seen as reward for previous efforts. Yinnar v Boolarra Two sides that could finish as high as top two, or even fall out of the top six met in an almighty important clash on the weekend. Boolarra had been slowly building the quality of their team and travelled to Yinnar to take on a desperate Magpies side. The result was an absolute thriller with Yinnar on the right side of a one point game 9-6-60 to 8-11-59. In the space of just a month, Yinnar have come from the bottom half of the ladder to within just one win of second position and with just a handful of games in the home away season remaining. Daniel Taylor, Yinnar coach "What a game, it could have gone either way, the win was set up by a super first half by the boys, we brought the heat early and our centre clearance work and pressure didn't allow Boolarra to get their game going.That all changed pretty quick after half time and they really worked themselves back into the contest and were controlling the game with their foot skills and ball movement, and after leading all day and looking out on our feet we found ourselves behind with three minutes to go, the boys stayed disciplined and showed a bit of fight and character to snatch back the lead with a minute to go, It was a gutsy win and a really important one at that!. It was a team effort all day, but I thought Kane Grinstead, Dan Johnson, Jimmy Dowling and Cal Sheils were fantastic all day." The loss, a heartbreaker for Boolarra, who gave up their second spot on the ladder and now find themselves like many others fighting for a spot in the top six. Tony Giardina, Boolarra coach, "Very disappointed by the way we turned up to play against a very good side. They showed us how football should be played. We can't keep giving sides five goals head start and think we are always going to come home and win it. Yinnar deserved to win the game." There is still so much to play out in the MGFNL home and away season with almost every position in the top six still up for grabs. MDU:Bye