2.20pm Saturday at QEO.
Round six of the BFNL season will be completed with a stand-alone game at the QEO between the Dragons and Hawks - and it's a contest with plenty riding on it.
Starting with Eaglehawk, a win would draw the Hawks level on 16 points with the third-placed Golden Square, while also providing a two-game buffer on Sandhurst.
Conversely, a win for the Dragons would elevate them into the top five and be one of four sides - along with Eaglehawk, Kyneton and South Bendigo - that would all have 3-3 records and be separated in a logjam by just percentage from fourth to seventh.
Following a 0-3 start to the season the Dragons have built momentum off the back of consecutive victories over Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square - the 12-point win over the Bulldogs described by coach Ash Connick as being as good as any he has been involved with in his time coaching.
Big ruckman Hamish Hosking continues to impress for the Dragons, having been named in their best three players in all five games so far, while Noah Walsh is putting together a super midfield season averaging 30 touches, six clearances and four tackles a game.
The Hawks are expected to be boosted by three key inclusions for the clash with the return from injury of key forward Darcy Richards, plus Clayton Holmes and Jack Lawton, who they will be able to use to combat the influence of Hosking, who is averaging 52 hit outs per game.
Richards kicked 13 goals in his first three games before a knee injury sidelined him for the Hawks' previous two matches, with his timely return to boost Eaglehawk's front-half arsenal.
As well as a crucial contest on the field, the game is also supporting the Pat Cronin Foundation, which is working with schools, clubs, community groups and young people to end the coward punch.
The foundation was established following the death of 19-year-old Pat Cronin in April of 2016 from injuries he sustained after being punched in the head from behind during a night out in Melbourne.
"This initiative with AFL Central Victoria and the BFNL will help us spread our message, which is particularly relevant in the rough and tumble of competitive sport - where emotions are often running high," foundation director Matt Cronin said.
Last time: Sandhurst 13.8 (86) def Eaglehawk 10.17 (77).
Since 2010: Sandhurst 11; Eaglehawk 11.
Luke West (25) - Sandhurst.
Adam Bourke (23) - Sandhurst.
Richard Jones (23) - Sandhurst.
2.15pm Saturday at Newbridge.
One of the fiercest rivalries in the Loddon Valley league is reignited.
Bridgewater is coming off an upset 16-point loss to Calivil United followed by a bye the past fortnight and is 2-3, with midfielder Callum Prest having been their standout player.
Newbridge is 1-4 and kicked just one score above 60 so far, so needs to start getting more bang for buck inside 50 if it's to make inroads up the ladder.
Last time: Bridgewater 15.17 (107) def Newbridge 9.7 (61).
Since 2010: Bridgewater 18; Newbridge 6.
2.15pm Saturday at Marong.
No player in country Victoria has kicked more than Marong full-forward Brandyn Grenfell's 44 goals.
The big forward has been in red-hot form in particular the past fortnight with bags of 14 against Inglewood and 11 against Newbridge in what have been a pair of percentage-boosting Marong wins by a combined 288 points.
The ladder-leading Panthers at home will be short-price favourites to improve to 6-1, with the pressure on the Bears' midfield to make sure they apply four quarters of heat to ease the burden on their defence in trying to contain the free-scoring Marong.
Last time: Marong 21.18 (144) def BL-Serpentine 9.7 (61).
Since 2010: Marong 11; BL-Serpentine 11.
2.15pm Saturday at Pyramid Hill.
It has been a Jekkyl and Hyde fortnight for Calivil United, which over the past two weeks has pulled off an upset win over Bridgewater, but also been the first team to lose to Maiden Gully YCW.
The Demons are going to have to be at their absolute best if they are to challenge the undefeated Pyramid Hill, particularly if the Bulldogs get their kicking boots back on after last week's return of 5.22 against Mitiamo.
Last time: Pyramid Hill 21.15 (141) def Calivil United 1.5 (11).
Since 2010: Pyramid Hill 17; Calivil United 8.
2.15pm Saturday at Maiden Gully.
There should be some renewed confidence at the Eagles this week after last Saturday breaking through for their first win of the season against Calivil United.
While football doesn't always work this way, if you consider that Maiden Gully YCW beat the Demons, who were super competitive against Mitiamo three weeks ago, then the underdog Eagles should have some optimism at home that they can take it up to their more fancied rivals.
Last time: Mitiamo 15.13 (103) def Maiden Gully YCW 8.8 (56).
Since 2010: Mitiamo 18; Maiden Gully YCW 6.
Luke West (18) - Bridgewater, Marong, Pyramid Hill, Mitiamo.
Adam Bourke (16) - Bridgewater, Marong, Pyramid Hill, Mitiamo.
2.15pm Saturday at Leitchville.
This is Elmore's big opportunity to finally get its breakthrough win of the season.
The 0-6 Bloods showed again last week against Heathcote that they can genuinely compete in games for periods when they were just 11 points down at half-time before being blown away and losing by 67.
This week the Bloods come up against a Bombers' side that was hit hard by injury last Saturday and is coming off the toughest month possible with four consecutive games against the top-four sides, all of which resulted in heavy losses.
Last time: Elmore 14.10 (94) def Leitchville-Gunbower 5.14 (44).
Since 2010: Leitchville-Gunbower 13; Elmore 8.
2.15pm Saturday at Heathcote.
Both sides have two wins apiece, making this a crucial contest in terms of fifth position.
The improved Saints will be aiming to pick up from where they left off last week when they dominated Elmore after half-time, with recruit Braden Padmore continuing to have a big influence playing midfield and forward for Heathcote.
The Demons are coming off a bye last week following a 17-point win over Elmore in what was the performance coach Jack Fallon hopes will be his side's season igniter.
Should be a competitive clash.
Last time: White Hills 8.17 (65) def Heathcote 5.10 (40).
Since 2010: White Hills 14; Heathcote 9.
2.15pm Saturday at Huntly.
The Grasshoppers have a lengthy injury list - coach Julian Bull indicated last week he could have at least 10 players missing this Saturday - but haven't let that deter them from going through the first six rounds undefeated and sitting on top of the ladder.
James Brain has been a valuable acquisition to the Grasshoppers with 21 goals, while brother Jed Brain has continued on from his best and fairest winning season of last year.
The Hawks are still searching for their first win of the season and given they are playing the undefeated ladder-leaders, would be a huge upset if they could pull it off at home.
That task will be made all the more difficult without two of their key defensive pillars in Tyler Miles and Steve Kairn through two-match suspensions.
Last time: Colbinabbin 13.13 (91) def Huntly 6.5 (41).
Since 2010: Colbinabbin 14; Huntly 10.
2.15pm Saturday at Lockington.
After withstanding a fierce challenge from Mount Pleasant last week, the unbeaten Cats have another contender to confront in North Bendigo at home, where they are 16-1 since the start of 2019.
LBU coach Brodie Collins said after last week's 31-point win his side thrived on the challenge the Blues presented and no doubt that will be the case again on Saturday against the Bulldogs - the last team to win at Lockington back in round seven of 2019.
After two comfortable wins over Huntly and Leitchville-Gunbower the past fortnight this is the ultimate gauge for the fourth-placed Bulldogs to test their wares.
Last time: LBU 13.12 (90) def North Bendigo 7.3 (45).
Since 2010: North Bendigo 13; LBU 11.
Adam Bourke (21) - Elmore, White Hills, Colbinabbin, Lockington-Bamawm United.
Luke West (21) - Elmore, White Hills, Colbinabbin, Lockington-Bamawm United.
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