RIPPER ROUND LOOMS

EXPLOSIVE: Sandhurst's Mitch Dole will be one of the players to watch at the QEO on Saturday afternoon.

EXPLOSIVE: Sandhurst's Mitch Dole will be one of the players to watch at the QEO on Saturday afternoon.

LW: Should be a ripper round of Bendigo footy this weekend, Bourkey, in what can only been described as a piece of fixturing genius by the powers that be.

It has been a fairly lacklustre past two weeks in the BFL with blowout results, but this weekend we have 1 v 2, 3 v 4, 5 v 6, 7 v 8 and 9 v 10.

Plenty on the line in all five games - undefeated sides meeting (Sandhurst and Gisborne); winless sides clashing (Maryborough and South Bendigo); teams striving to respond from triple-figure hidings last week (Kyneton and Castlemaine); teams meeting with identical 3-3 records (Golden Square and Eaglehawk); and teams in and around the top three facing off (Strathfieldsaye and Kangaroo Flat).

When you factor in it's the last chance for players to push their case for inter-league selection next weekend, it all points to a cracker of a weekend.

AB: Best round of the BFNL season so far by a mile.

The Sandhurst and Gisborne game will be a cracker.

You know what you're going to get from Gisborne - contested footy, pressure and tackling.

The intriguing thing about this game is can Sandhurst maintain its form against a genuine premiership contender?

The Dragons demolished Strathfieldsaye earlier in the season, but the Storm had a heap of their best players out.

The general consensus at the moment is Sandhurst is a lock to finish first or second - this game will give us a better guide.

LW: Everything has gone right for the Dragons this season in terms of their run with injury, which is highlighted in the fact they have used just 25 players in six games, of which 17 have played every match.

The fortunate run with injuries won't last all season, but as they say, Brett Fitzpatrick's side is making hay while the sun shines.

I haven't seen Gisborne play yet this season, but I'm really looking forward to having a look at these exciting young kids we keep hearing about each week.

At the other end of the ladder, Maryborough and South Bendigo will both be battling for their first wins at Princes Park.

It won't be the spectacle of the QEO clash, but it should be every bit as desperate.

AB: I was very tempted to tip the Magpies.

They have been far more competitive than I thought they would be.

On their home turf they'll be mighty hard for the Bloods to knock off.

South Bendigo needs to narrow the gap between its best and worst.

The Bloods play 10 or 15 minutes of footy that is good enough to match it with the better teams, but when they're bad they get scored against too easily.

Can't see Kangaroo Flat or Castlemaine troubling Strathfieldsaye or Kyneton respectively.

LW: And then there's Sunday's clash between Golden Square and Eaglehawk.

I'm not a fan of Sunday footy, but it certainly has more appeal when you get the right game, and that's the case this weekend at MyJet Oval.

With both sides 3-3 and sitting fifth and sixth, it's a crucial contest between two teams that as it stands at the moment, will be among four - the others being Kangaroo Flat and Kyneton - jostling for the last two finals positions.

Golden Square looked like it started to get some of its mojo back last week against Maryborough, while Eaglehawk competed well against Gisborne, but as has been the case in all three of its losses so far, an ordinary third quarter let the Hawks down in their defeat.

Away from the on-field action, there has been some positive announcements this week in regards to the facilities at North Bendigo, Gisborne and Serpentine.

I might have to wear two beanies on my bald head down at The Graveyard if there's going to be night footy at Gisborne with the lighting upgrades.

AB: Great news for all clubs.

Maybe the Gisborne-Golden Square Anzac Day game will become twilight.

Start the game at 5.30pm or 6pm and then the locals can have the best of both worlds - watch Collingwood thump Essendon in the afternoon and then get to Gardiner Reserve to watch the battle of the Bulldogs.

Sounds like a great day. 

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