MARONG will be motivated by the incentive of keeping its Loddon Valley Football League double chance destiny in its own hands when it takes on Bears Lagoon-Serpentine on Saturday.
With three rounds remaining, the Panthers sit one game outside the top three.
One of the top-three spots they are eyeing off is that of the Bears, who occupy third.
A victory on Saturday would level the Panthers on 40 points with the Bears.
And with the Panthers having a game in hand on the Bears, courtesy of their bye in the final round, Marong would be well in control of its top-three fate over the following fortnight.
“If we want to keep those top three hopes in our own hands then we can’t afford to lose this one on Saturday,” Marong coach Corey Gregg said on Friday.
“The same goes for them as well, so it’s a crunch game for both sides and we’re certainly up for the challenge of trying to knock them off on their home soil.”
Their earlier meeting in round seven was a belter when the Bears came from 11 points down at three quarter-time to win by three points.
“We’re almost at full strength and will go in with an unchanged side for the first time this year,” Gregg said.
“Hopefully, we can produce a similar style of footy to what we did in the first half against Calivil last week.”
The Bears enter Saturday’s home contest with the best formline behind Bridgewater of five wins in a row.
Marong downed Calivil United by 73 points last week in what was a win set up by a super first half.