READ MORE - Kemp earns berth in Under-18 All-Australian team
LODDON VALLEY LEAGUE – ROUND 13
CALIVIL UNITED v BRIDGEWATER
2.15pm Saturday at Calivil.
The Mean Machine have got themselves back into the top five after ending a four-game losing streak against Inglewood last weekend - now the challenge is to hold their position.
At 3-8 finals now look beyond the Demons for a second year in a row - who'd have thought that after their 17-2 premiership season of 2017 - but they can still throw a spanner in the works for Bridgewater (5th) and Maiden Gully YCW (4th) over the next two rounds.
Last time: Calivil United 17.14 (116) def Bridgewater 12.5 (77).
Since 1995: Calivil United 26; Bridgewater 25; Drawn 1.
PYRAMID HILL v MARONG
2.15pm Saturday at Pyramid Hill.
If the Panthers miss a berth in the finals, they can look back on the past fortnight as two opportunities gone begging.
First a three-point loss to Calivil United when they gave up a last-minute goal, followed by kicking 3.17 and having more scoring shots than Maiden Gully YCW in last week's 23-point defeat.
Now they come up against a refreshed Pyramid Hill that had the good fortune of a bye last weekend and therefore avoided the worst conditions in years that will have taken plenty out of all the players who had to endure them.
Last time: Pyramid Hill 13.14 (92) def Marong 10.9 (69).
Head to head: Pyramid Hill 40; Marong 13.
INGLEWOOD v NEWBRIDGE
2.15pm Saturday at Inglewood.
Could this be an opportunity knocking for Inglewood given the depleted nature of the Newbridge side that saw the reigning premiers held goal-less against Mitiamo last week?
Having been 3-3 after six games, the Maroons have since gone 1-3 to find themselves out of the top five, despite the best efforts of William Daly, who has been their best player in three of their past four games.
The Blues are still hunting their first win of not only this season, but since their breakthrough victory against Calivil United on April 28 last year - a losing stretch that has now hit 25 games in a row.
They have been right in the contest at half-time the past two weeks against Bridgewater and Bears Lagoon-Serpentine, but have let the game get away from them in the third quarter both times.
Last time: Newbridge 15.26 (116) def Inglewood 5.7 (37).
Since 1995: Newbridge 38; Inglewood 11.
BL-Serpentine v Mitiamo
2.15pm Saturday at Serpentine.
Match of the round between two in-form teams.
The ladder-leading Superoos have won nine games in a row, while the Bears are ticking along nicely in third spot and riding a five-game winning streak.
The Superoos held the Bears goal-less in the first half of their round four encounter, but nine rounds on BL-Serpentine is playing a far better brand of footy.
Would be great for the competition if the Bears can solidify their credentials with a strong showing on their home deck against the league's No.1 team.
Last time: Mitiamo 13.14 (92) def BL-Serpentine 5.11 (41).
Since 1995: Mitiamo 32; BL-Serpentine 21; Drawn 1.
HEATHCOTE DISTRICT LEAGUE – ROUND 12
LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER v ELMORE
2.15pm Saturday at Gunbower.
Elmore coach Danny Brewster certainly hasn't discounted the Bloods playing finals, saying after last week's win over Huntly: "If we can get a few more on the way home we might be a chance of pushing for that fifth spot."
And the Bloods aren't without a finals chance given they are only one game behind the team they are playing this week - the fifth-placed Bombers - making this a massive game for their top five aspirations.
The Bloods at home did beat Leitchville-Gunbower in round three after a stunning second-half comeback, but this is a far different proposition given the Bombers are 17-0 in their past 17 games at Gunbower.
Last time: Elmore 10.12 (72) def Leitchville-Gunbower 8.19 (67).
Head to head: Leitchville-Gunbower 12; Elmore 7.
HUNTLY v LBU
2.15pm Saturday at Huntly.
Tough gig at home for the young Hawks against one of the competition's flag favourites in the Cats.
The Cats now have one hand firmly on a top three finish given their crucial victory over Colbinabbin last week and with the chance to play on the venue that hosts the grand final, will be keen to make the most of it given what they have their goals set on later in September.
The scoreboard damage the rebuilding Hawks have suffered this year hasn't been helped by their missed opportunities inside 50.
Granted, last week was a shocking day for scoring, but the Hawks have kicked 6.27 in their past two games against Elmore and North Bendigo and only three times in their 10 games so far have kicked more goals than behinds.
Footy can be over-complicated at times, but ultimately, it's about kicking the ball between the two big sticks.
Last time: LBU 17.12 (114) def Huntly 6.8 (44).
Head to head: LBU 30; Huntly 9.
WHITE HILLS v NORTH BENDIGO
2.15pm Saturday at White Hills.
The Demons have been on the end of plenty of hidings from the Bulldogs in recent years - they have lost their past 11 encounters against North Bendigo by an average of 80 points.
It's a massive bridge to gap, but on their home deck and playing some solid footy now that included beating fourth-placed Mount Pleasant by 38 points last week, the Demons should have some confidence that they can give a far better account of themselves than recent years against the ladder-leaders.
Winning enough midfield ball and breaking down the Bulldogs' stingy defence won't be easy on recent form, with North Bendigo conceding scores of just 25, 23, 47 and 39 in their past four games.
Last time: North Bendigo 14.12 (96) def White Hills 8.8 (56).
Head to head: North Bendigo 35; White Hills 18.
HEATHCOTE v COLBINABBIN
2.15pm Sunday at Heathcote.
Sunday footy as the Saints host the Grasshoppers in the Worksafe Game of the Month.
Like Pyramid Hill, the Saints should have an extra spring in their step compared to the Grasshoppers given they didn't have to slog their way through last Saturday's sapping conditions.
Combined with the Grasshoppers expecting to have about a dozen players out, could a massive Sunday upset be a possibility?
Last time: Colbinabbin 10.18 (78) def Heathcote 7.10 (52).
Since 1995: Colbinabbin 36; Heathcote 21.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.