READ MORE - Weekend football teams
LOCKINGTON-Bamawm United will be aiming to put four years of hidings from North Bendigo behind it and take the next step in its development in the Heathcote District league on Saturday.
The Cats are 5-1, on top of the ladder and host the second-placed Bulldogs (4-1) at Lockington in the match of the round.
Since they came from 21 points down at half-time to beat the Bulldogs in the 2014 grand final the Cats have been on the end of eight-consecutive losses to North Bendigo by an average of 116 points.
Admittedly, the Bulldogs have remained a force through those past four seasons, while the Cats have been in rebuild mode.
But that rebuild has now reached the point where the Cats are once again in the premiership window and Saturday's clash against the Bulldogs at home presents the opportunity to show their wares - albeit far from full strength.
"We feel like we can beat any team in the competition when we're playing our best footy," Oliver said on Friday.
READ MORE - BENDIGO ADDY FOOTY CHALLENGE - week seven scores
"We're probably going to make it a bit harder for ourselves with a few missing, but we'll still run out with a competitive team that we expect to push North, especially at home."
Like last week the Cats will again be missing three of their key players in Liam Main, Bart Phillips and Nathan O'Brien, while key forward Patrick Gardiner and Ged Giddings are also out.
Gardiner is the Cats' leading goalkicker this year with 23, but despite his absence LBU still has a strong array of goalkicking options including Lachlan Collins, Thomas Leech, Jacob Gardiner and Jarod Bacon.
"I would have loved to face them at full tilt, and I'm not sure if they are going to have their best side in, but it is what it is," Oliver said.
"Not that we were beaten by a lot last week, but it would be nice to get back on the winner's list."
The Cats last week suffered their first loss of the season when they were beaten by the vastly-improved Mount Pleasant by five points.
It was the second thriller in a row the Cats had been involved in after they scraped past White Hills by four points the previous round.
"We haven't played great over the past month and that's the challenge this week... to try to get back to our best footy," Oliver said.
The Cats go into the game with the No.1 ranked defence, while the Bulldogs are ranked No.1 for attack, averaging 132 points per game and welcome back gun forward Brady Herdman from his hamstring injury.
The Cats and Bulldogs are among a group of four teams, that also includes Colbinabbin and Mount Pleasant, that each have just one loss in what finally shapes as a wide open premiership race in the HDFNL.
* North Bendigo v LBU since the 2014 grand final:
Rd 1, 2015 - North Bendigo by 166;
Rd 10, 2015 - North Bendigo by 157;
Rd 6, 2016 - North Bendigo by 142;
Rd 15, 2016 - North Bendigo by 149;
Rd 5, 2017 - North Bendigo by 117;
Rd 14, 2017 - North Bendigo by 98;
Rd 5, 2018 - North Bendigo by 36;
Rd 14, 2018 - North Bendigo by 64.
* Saturday's games - Colbinabbin v White Hills, LBU v North Bendigo, Heathcote v Mount Pleasant, Huntly v Leitchville-Gunbower.
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