READ MORE - weekend football teams
BENDIGO LEAGUE - ROUND 7
2.20pm Saturday at Maryborough.
Despite an exodus of players during the off-season and predictions of a long year ahead, the Tigers are every chance of having a positive win-loss record come the end of round seven.
The Tigers are 3-3 - they have won three of their past four after a 0-2 start - and head to Maryborough, which has copped a pair of 100-plus hidings in its past two games against Gisborne and Golden Square, which have both been away matches.
The Magpies, though, will relish getting back to Princes Park where they have played their best footy this year.
2.20pm Saturday at Eaglehawk.
Eaglehawk's winning streak at Canterbury Park looks under serious threat from the visiting Bulldogs.
The Hawks haven't lost on their home deck since a 32-point defeat to Sandhurst in round 17 of 2016.
They have since peeled off 21-consecutive home wins ahead of a clash with Gisborne that has won all the games it has been expected to and should see this is a major statement opportunity against the reigning premiers.
The Hawks have long been renowned for possessing one of the BFNL's best backlines, but it faces a tough task to contain a Gisborne attack that in four of its six games has kicked scores of 140-plus.
2.20pm Saturday at QEO.
Given Strathfieldsaye and Gisborne are strongly touted to finish top three - and there's nothing yet to suggest otherwise - it's likely there's only going to be one other double chance available come September, with the Dragons and Bulldogs two of those sides eyeing it off.
Which makes this one of those crucial "eight point" matches, with the Bulldogs (5-1) having the opportunity to skip two games clear of the Dragons (4-2) with a victory.
This is the third crack at claiming a scalp of significance for Sandhurst - which has Matt Thornton playing his 200th - after it has already come up short in matches against fellow top-five sides Eaglehawk (20 points) and Strathfieldsaye (46).
2.20pm Saturday at Strathfieldsaye.
It could be carnage at Tannery Lane on Saturday given the massive gulf between the two teams - the Storm unbeaten with an average winning margin of 64 points; the Magpies winless with an average losing margin of 75 points.
The Storm haven't conceded a first quarter goal in their past three games, with the first starting point for Castlemaine to not be blown away early against the flag favourites.
2.20pm Sunday at QEO.
The showcase game of the BFNL's indigenous round on Sunday at the QEO.
It has been lean pickings for both teams so far, each with just one win apiece.
The all important third term continues to be an Achilles Heel for the Bloods, having been outscored 6-36, 6-46, 7-20, 8-33, 6-33 and 9-22 in the "premiership quarter" in their six games.
LODDON VALLEY LEAGUE - ROUND 8
2.15pm Saturday at Bridgewater.
The Superoos have momentum on their side with four wins in a row - three of them by 50-points plus - and now have gun forward Justin Maddern back full time.
But it's down the other end where the Superoos have been particularly impressive in their winning streak, conceding scores of just 35, 44, 41 and 36 in their four wins.
Big challenge ahead for the Mean Machine at home to conjure a winning total to keep their one-game buffer inside the top three.
2.15pm Saturday at Pyramid Hill.
The Demons are coming off an extended break with the inter-league week off followed by the bye, which always begs the question of will they be rusty early or refreshed and raring to go?
They can't afford to be rusty against the red-hot Bulldogs, who since trailing Mitiamo by six points at quarter-time in round two have won 19 quarters in a row - testament to their consistency over 120 minutes.
2.15pm Saturday at Inglewood.
The Blues need a massive jolt in first quarters to get themselves in games. They trailed 1-51, 0-73, 2-25 in their past three first terms ahead of their home clash with the Eagles, who will be on the rebound from a 10-goal loss to Pyramid Hill.
2.15pm Saturday at Serpentine.
Huge game between the Bears and Maroons, who are both among the clutter of four teams on 12 points that fill positions four to seven.
Both recorded season-steadying wins last week - now the challenge is to turn it into two in a row.
HEATHCOTE DISTRICT LEAGUE - ROUND 7
2.15pm Saturday at Colbinabbin.
Very much a danger game at home for the Grasshoppers against an opponent they have had the wood over.
The Demons haven't beaten the Grasshoppers since 2011 and earlier in the season you wouldn't have thought twice before tipping Colbinabbin.
But the Demons have shown in their past three games - which has coincided with classy forward Mitch Dole kicking 22 goals - that they are starting to hit their straps after a sluggish start.
2.15pm Saturday at Lockington.
Ripper of a game between first and second.
The Cats have both won and lost by less than a kick in their past two games, with this clash a golden opportunity to gauge how far they've come this season given they've copped four years of regular hidings from the Bulldogs.
Plenty of pressure on the backlines of both sides given both teams vast array of goalkicking options.
The game features the No.1 ranked attack (North Bendigo) v No.1 ranked defence (LBU).
2.15pm Saturday at Heathcote.
With wins over North Bendigo and LBU already, the Blues have certainly thrown their name into the list of genuine flag contenders.
The Blues have won four on the trot in what's their best winning streak since 2014.
The Saints at home would dearly love to burst the bubble of their arch-rivals and open their account for 2019.
2.15pm Saturday at Huntly.
Gone are the days of kicking regular cricket scores for the Bombers - they've been held to under 50 points in three of their six games.
Last time these two sides met was last year's qualifying final, but both are just a shadow of their former selves this season after their major player turnover.
NORTH CENTRAL LEAGUE - ROUND 7
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