TWO of the LVFNL competition's big improvers will get a chance to further enhance that status when Marong hosts Pyramid Hill at Malone Park on Saturday.
Despite both sides coming off narrow losses last week, the Panthers and Bulldogs have shown themselves to be ultra-competitive so far this season.
A win for either team would establish them in the upper bracket at this early point in the season.
Marong's chances have been boosted by the availability of defensive recruit Tracey O'Donnell for her first game since coming across from Newbridge.
Panthers coach Bianca Garton said her side would go into the game confident of bouncing back following a bold showing in a seven-goal loss to undefeated Maiden Gully YCW.
"A loss always provides you with a few lessons and we worked on that at training on Thursday," she said.
"The positive thing is they are not major things that we need to change, and getting Tracey back gives us another option.
"It was disappointing to lose as we did get within three goals in the last quarter, but it was a great effort.
"I feel the girls are not quite used to playing four consistent quarters. It was one quarter, our second, that really let us down."
Garton was quick to acknowledge Pyramid Hill's bright start to the season, with the Bulldogs experiencing a loss for the first time in three games last week against Calivil United.
"It will be a really even playing field this season this year, every one will beat everyone," she said.
"It's going to keep us all guessing until the end of the year as to what the top five will look like.
"Pyramid Hill has had a really good start, it's not a game we'd ever take lightly.
"Hopefully, we can bounce back and get that bit of confidence before we hit Mitiamo and Bridgewater."
Goal shooter Brittany Hercus was on-song for the Panthers against Maiden Gully YCW, while Kirsty Hamilton starred at wing defence.
For Pyramid Hill, young centre Imogen Broad and coach Zoe Kennedy have started the season in brilliant form.
In other games, after notching its first win of the season last week against Newbridge, Calivil United (1-2) faces a tough test against reigning premiers Mitiamo (2-0).
Still chasing its first win, Newbridge (0-3) faces a tough test against Bridgewater, which opened its season last week with a win against Inglewood following consecutive byes in rounds one and two.
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