MCDFL round 14, week 2 preview

HARCOURT v DUNOLLY - 2.35pm Saturday at Harcourt.

Last time: Round 5, 2014: Harcourt 23.16 (154) d Dunolly 7.11 (53).

Since 2004: Harcourt 14; Dunolly 4.

HARCOURT - big opportunity for the Lions to keep themselves right in the finals hunt. After Campbells Creek was beaten in last week’s start to the split round, a Lions’ victory over Dunolly at home would move them within a game of the top eight, while also ending a four-game losing streak.

DUNOLLY - the Eagles have just one win for the season, but they have put together a competitive past five games. As well as beating Rovers in round 11, they have been right in the game at three quarter-time in their other four matches since round eight, so they can’t be discounted in this contest.

TIP: Harcourt by 26.

ROYAL PARK v TALBOT - 2.35pm Saturday at Hedges Oval.

Last time: Round 9, 2014: Royal Park 6.5 (41) d Talbot 5.8 (38).

Since 2004: Talbot 12; Royal Park 5.

ROYAL PARK - finals for the first time since 2006 are on the horizon for Bushy. Their potential elimination final opponent could be Talbot, who they host on Saturday. Bushy can gain a pre-finals edge by backing up their three-point win over the Hawks earlier this season with a repeat victory.

TALBOT - the Hawks are sitting in seventh position, but are still to claim the scalp of a side currently in the top eight. They can rectify that on Saturday against the sixth-placed Bushy. Just nine points have separated the Hawks and Bushy in their past two meetings for one win each.

TIP: Royal Park by 6.

ROVERS v LEXTON - 2.35pm Saturday at Jubilee Oval.

Last time: Round 5, 2014: Lexton 14.24 (108) d Rovers 9.6 (60).

Since 2011: Lexton 4; Rovers 0.

ROVERS - won their third game of the season last round when they defeated Maldon by 13 points. With three other losses by single figures, they could have easily had six wins and been right in finals contention. Tough day looms against Lexton, who they have never beaten.

LEXTON - the Tigers’ winning streak reached 12 in a row after last round’s 14-point victory over Carisbrook. Continue to prove mighty hard to score against, with the Tigers ranked the No.1 defence in the competition, conceding an average of just 41.2 points per game. 

TIP: Lexton by 80.

TRENTHAM v NAVARRE - 2.35pm Saturday at Trentham.

Last time: Round 10, 2013: Navarre 17.20 (122) d Trentham 3.3 (21).

Since 2011: Navarre 4; Trentham 1.

TRENTHAM - the Saints have lost 10 games in a row and now confront the unbeaten ladder-leaders. Mark Strickland has battled hard against the odds to be in the best the past three games, with only he (20), Luke Whitehouse (24) and Matthew Traynor (10) having kicked at least 10 goals this year.

NAVARRE - have had an aura of invincibility about them this season, but they did show some vulnerability against Natte Bealiba last round before breaking away to win by 24 points. Finish the home and away season by playing the three bottom sides, so big wins beckon leading into the finals. 

TIP: Navarre by 95.

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