READ MORE - SATURDAY SCOREBOARD - August 10, 2019
BOTH Calivil United and Marong now face a waiting game to learn which of the two will play Maiden Gully YCW in next Sunday's Loddon Valley league elimination final.
While the home and away season was completed on Saturday, fifth spot can't be officially confirmed until after the Maiden Gully YCW points breach appeal is dealt with later this week.
As it currently stands, Calivil United is in fifth position, while Marong is sixth, with both sides on seven wins apiece.
However, the Demons are only above the Panthers courtesy of being awarded the four points from the round 14 game they lost to Maiden Gully YCW when the Eagles breached their player points limit of 45.
But with the Eagles now appealing to AFL Victoria, it opens the door to the possibility that the points could be reinstated to the Eagles, and if they are stripped from Calivil United that would then elevate the Panthers back into fifth spot.
Appeal submissions from both the Eagles and AFL Central Victoria are due by Wednesday and while the situation is now out of the LVFNL's hands, the league hopes there will be a resolution by Wednesday night.
If the Demons do retain fifth, they will remarkably play finals in a season where they had one stage been 1-6.
Calivil United rounded out its home and away season with a 113-point demolition of Inglewood, 23.16 (154) to 6.5 (41).
By climbing from seventh to fifth, this is the only time this season the Demons have been inside the top five - but it's at the time that matters the most.
"All we could do today was just worry about controlling what we could, and that was to play good footy and try to get a bit of percentage, which we did (95.7 to 105.4)," Calivil United coach Andrew Freemantle said.
"Overall, it was a good team effort and that was the most important thing regardless of what happens later this week."
The Demons were already well on the way to a percentage-boosting win when they led by 67 points at half-time.
The Demons had the biggest spread of goalkickers of any team this season, with 13 players hitting the scoreboard, led by their best player Jake Lawry (four), the returning Nathan Dyson (four), Levi Moss (three) and Michael Cooke (three).
While the Demons must now wait on the outcome of the Eagles' appeal, Inglewood has endured a winless season, with its past four losses all by hefty triple figure margins of 113, 156, 139 and 179 points.
Saturday's result also brought an end to the coaching tenure of Ryan McNish after three seasons.
"I think it's time for the club to look to move on to bigger and better things," McNish said.
"I really hope they can get someone who can bring in an influx of players, but it has been a great journey.
"The win-loss ratio (2-46) isn't too flash, but it has been great to see the development of some of our young guys like Matty Rowe and Taj Rodwell, who are going to be great players for this club; and Liam Drummond and Jaxon Billett are other young players who have had to play some big roles and will be better for the experience.
"Hopefully, the club can springboard into 2020."
While Inglewood's seniors claimed a third-consecutive wooden spoon, both the Blues' reserves (2nd) and under-18s (3rd) will play finals with double chances.
MARONG v MITIAMO
While the ladder says its season is over, Marong players will train on Tuesday night given there is the possibility the sixth-placed Panthers could regain their position in the top five.
The Panthers have been massively affected as a result of the Maiden Gully YCW player points breach and subsequent awarding of points to Calivil United.
Had the Eagles played with their allotted 45 points and not 47 against Calivil United in round 14, the Panthers would have finished fifth and be back in the finals for the first time since 2016.
Instead, they are not only sixth on the ladder, but are now dealing with the uncertainty created by the Eagles' appeal and subsequent scenario of preparing for an elimination final early in the week that they may or may not be playing in.
Perhaps the greatest irony with the Eagles' appeal is that until it's resolved, they themselves don't know who they are playing in the elimination final.
"We have to train early in the week given potentially we could be still playing finals," Marong co-coach Taylor Beard said.
"We'll train Tuesday and wait until the appeal comes through. It's obviously not ideal, but we can't be caught out not doing everything we possibly can to be ready if it does fall in what would be a favourable way for us."
The Panthers' 10.19 (79) to 9.13 (67) loss to Mitiamo at home took the control of their destiny out of their own hands.
Although, at three quarter-time the game was well set up for Marong, with the Panthers leading by 10 points and kicking with the wind in the final term.
However, the Superoos kicked 4.4 to 0.6 in the final quarter to win by 12 points and end the home and away season second with a 13-3 record.
"They kicked a couple of early goals in the last quarter and really put the pressure on us," Beard said.
"I felt we controlled the game for most of the day, so it was disappointing not to get over the line."
The trio of co-coach Tyrone Downie (four), Justin Maddern (three) and Dylan Clohesy (three) combined for 10 goals for the Superoos, whose best was gun midfielder Doug Thomas.
For the second game in a row Beard slotted five goals for the Panthers. Consistent on-baller Adam Ward was the standout for Marong, while Corbin Fleming did a solid job on Maddern.
BL-SERPENTINE v MAIDEN GULLY YCW
READ MORE - BL-Serpentine v Maiden Gully YCW | Photos
Bears Lagoon-Serpentine secured the double chance with a 22-point win at home over Maiden Gully YCW.
In a game where the prize for the winner was third spot, the Bears kept the Eagles scoreless in the first quarter on the way to a 10.14 (74) to 7.10 (52) victory.
"The boys worked really hard for the result today; they set it up in the first quarter in getting out to a five-goal lead," Bears coach Greg Gadsden said.
Ruckman Nathan Twigg was dominant for the Bears and key defender Dylan Hanley did a fine job in his match-up on Eagles' coach Wayne Mitrovic.
Securing the double chance will be a major sigh of relief for the Bears given they had been knocked out in the elimination final the previous two years.
"The boys have a bit of belief now that they can match it with anybody. If they bring their best footy and strong pressure around the contest like they did today then they will give themselves a chance," Gadsden said.
The Bears will now prepare for a qualifying final tussle against Mitiamo next Saturday.
Defender Alex Pearson and Brayden Aitken were the best for the Eagles, who outscored the Bears seven goals to six after quarter-time, but the damage had been done.
PYRAMID HILL v NEWBRIDGE
Newbridge's 2018 premiership coach Brad Comer is stepping down after two seasons at the helm.
Comer's last game in charge was a 57-point loss to minor premier Pyramid Hill, 10.21 (81) to 3.6 (24).
"I'm a bit of a believer that footy clubs need to be freshened up quite regularly. I've loved coaching, but it comes down to a family decision. I've got two kids under the age of two and it's a big commitment, so it's time to put a bit more back into my family," said Comer, who had a 21-12-1 record during his stint.
After winning the flag in 2018, the Maroons this year slid to eighth with just five wins in what became a development year.
"It was a challenging year, but the positive is we've brought through quite a few kids. We played another today in Matt Morgan, who is a 17-year-old, so the club will still take plenty out of the year," Comer said.
While the season is done and dusted for Newbridge, Pyramid Hill has secured its first top-of-the-ladder finish since 2009 and could be just two wins away from a first premiership since 1950.
"Top spot is a good reward for the effort the boys have put in over the year. We were 9-0 at one stage, but are 4-3 in our past seven games, so the focus is on getting our momentum back for the finals," Bulldogs coach Adrian McErvale said.
Midfielder Billy Micevski and half-back Andrew Dobby were the standouts for the Bulldogs, while with one major Braidy Dickens ended the home and away season as the competition's leading goalkicker with 60.
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