BENDIGO LEAGUE - ROUND 2
SANDHURST v STRATHFIELDSAYE
5.30pm Friday at QEO.
The Storm are breathing a sigh of relief after learning that the 2019 season is still alive for gun on-baller Jake Moorhead.
Moorhead suffered a knee injury 20 minutes into the first quarter of the Storm's impressive grand final re-match win over Eaglehawk last Saturday.
Coach Troy Coates confirmed on Wednesday Moorhead's injury isn't a season-ending ACL, rather a ligament tear that will sideline him for six to eight weeks.
Hot on the heels of their 38-point win over the reigning premier Hawks, the Storm venture to the QEO for another big game against Sandhurst.
The Dragons are also coming off a strong first-up showing when they disposed of Kangaroo Flat by 73 points in what was a solid start under new coach Ash Connick.
Last time: Strathfieldsaye 13.14 (92) d Sandhurst 9.9 (63) - preliminary final.
Head to Head: Strathfieldsaye 15; Sandhurst 10.
MARYBOROUGH v CASTLEMAINE
5.30pm Friday at Maryborough.
Former Essendon team-mates Stewart Crameri (Maryborough) and Angus Monfries (Castlemaine) will be on opposing sides for this clash between the two Magpies outfits.
Genuine winning opportunities have been few and far between in recent seasons for Maryborough and Castlemaine, but both will head into Friday with strong optimism they can get an early victory on the board.
Both sides will be desperate to avoid their slow starts of last week when they each had just one goal on the board at half-time.
On its home ground at Princes Park, combined with what it showed it's capable of in the third quarter last week by kicking five goals to one against South Bendigo, gives Maryborough the rare favourites tag.
Last time: Maryborough 11.17 (83) d Castlemaine 8.12 (60).
Since 1995: Maryborough 31; Castlemaine 20.
GISBORNE v KYNETON
2.20pm Friday at Gisborne.
The two Macedon Ranges foes renew a rivalry that has been dominated in recent years by Kyneton.
The Tigers have won their past eight encounters against the Bulldogs, but this time will go in as the underdogs against a Gisborne side that has plenty of expectation on it this year and started with a 93-point win over Castlemaine last week that featured a spread of 11 goalkickers.
The Tigers are touted to be the competition sliders this year, but showed enough against Golden Square last week to suggest they certainly won't be any pushovers.
Last time: Kyneton 15.12 (102) d Gisborne 15.11 (101).
Head to Head: Gisborne 26; Kyneton 10.
EAGLEHAWK v SOUTH BENDIGO
2.20pm Friday at Eaglehawk.
Not since 2012 - the year it last played finals - has South Bendigo made a 2-0 start to a BFNL season.
With a round one win under their belts against Maryborough by 32 points, the Bloods have the opportunity to go 2-0, but have a massive task on their hands at Canterbury Park to do so.
The Hawks will be seething from a 38-point loss to Strathfieldsaye when they were blown away early last week and determined to kickstart their season on their home ground where they have won their past 18 games.
Last time: Eaglehawk 20.7 (127) d South Bendigo 13.10 (88).
Since 1995: South Bendigo 27; Eaglehawk 25.
LODDON VALLEY LEAGUE - ROUND 3
MAIDEN GULLY YCW v MARONG
5.30pm Friday at Marist College.
The pressure is on Maiden Gully YCW to stand up and deliver after what has been a lacklustre start to the season.
Tipped to be one of the leading flag contenders, the Eagles have so far dished up a 47-point loss to Mitiamo and shock six-point defeat against Bridgewater to be 0-2 and performing well below expectation.
Contrast that with Marong - the Panthers were one of the big unknowns heading into the season, but at 2-0 under new coaches Taylor Beard and Ash Weldon have made their best opening to a season since 2014.
Fast starts in which they have led 26-7 and 33-9 at quarter-time in their wins over Inglewood and Calivil United have helped pave the way for the Panthers' solid first fortnight.
Last time: Maiden Gully YCW 24.18 (162) d Marong 6.7 (43).
Since 1995: Maiden Gully YCW 30; Marong 18.
READ MORE - Last week's LVFNL wrap
HEATHCOTE DISTRICT LEAGUE - ROUND 2
COLBINABBIN v LBU
2.15pm Friday at Colbinabbin.
Plenty to be excited about for this clash that features two of the teams that are expected to be in the thick of the action when the whips are cracking in September.
The Cats couldn't have been more impressive in disposing of White Hills by 94 points and Heathcote by 136 points in their opening two matches, while the Grasshoppers needed to work hard to shrug off Elmore and win by 47 points in their first hit-out last week.
Last time they met the Grasshoppers ended LBU's 2018 season with a 13-point elimination final victory, but on the small sample size so far, Colbinabbin will confront a hell of a lot better Cats' side this time.
Last time: Colbinabbin 14.18 (102) d LBU 13.11 (89) - elimination final.
Head to Head: Colbinabbin 25; LBU 17.
WHITE HILLS v MOUNT PLEASANT
6.15pm Friday at White Hills.
How will the Demons respond to their 94-point thrashing from LBU in the season-opener that they've had two weeks to stew on?
It was a bitterly disappointing first-up showing for new coach Sam Kerridge's side, which has another showcase game against Mount Pleasant, which just like the Demons has its eyes firmly on forcing its way into the top five this year.
The Blues are also 0-1 after suffering a 14-point defeat to Leitchville-Gunbower last week, meaning the loser will be 0-2 and left to play some early catch-up footy.
Last time: Mount Pleasant 12.11 (83) d White Hills 11.10 (76).
Since 1995: Mount Pleasant 40; White Hills 13.
READ MORE - Last week's HDFNL wrap
1. Gisborne - 1-0
2. Sandhurst - 1-0
3. Strathfieldsaye - 1-0
4. Golden Square - 1-0
5. South Bendigo - 1-0
6. Maryborough - 0-1
7. Kyneton - 0-1
8. Eaglehawk - 0-1
9. Kangaroo Flat - 0-1
10. Castlemaine - 0-1
1. Pyramid Hill - 2-0
2. Marong - 2-0
3. Newbridge - 1-0
4. BL-Serpentine - 1-0
5. Mitiamo - 1-1
6. Bridgewater - 1-1
7. M. Gully YCW - 0-2
8. Inglewood - 0-2
9. Calivil United - 0-2
1. LBU - 1-0
2. North Bendigo 1-0
3. Colbinabbin - 1-0
4. L'ville-Gunbower - 1-0
5. Mount Pleasant - 0-1
6. Elmore - 0-1
7. Huntly - 0-1
8. Heathcote - 0-1
9. White Hills - 0-0
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