2.20pm Saturday at Kangaroo Flat.
With four rounds left this shapes as most likely the last opportunity either of these sides will get to add to their win tally for the year.
The Roos have three victories and the Magpies' two.
With the Roos' James Flaherty stepping down from the helm at the end of the season these next four games also double as auditions for prospective 2023 coaches.
Despite the battles of both sides, they each have one of Premier Data's top ranked midfielders in Castlemaine's Tommy Horne (No.5) and the Roos' Liam Collins (No.7), who have battled valiantly in the engine room.
Last time: Kangaroo Flat 11.15 (81) def Castlemaine 6.7 (43).
Since 2010: Kangaroo Flat 18; Castlemaine 4.
2.20pm Saturday at QEO.
Gisborne would be champing at the bit to get back on the QEO and get its game in order where the Bulldogs are going to have to play well in September if they are to win the flag.
Since the BFNL's resumption post the COVID-abandoned 2020 season the Bulldogs are 22-4.
Of those four losses two have been on the QEO against South Bendigo by 25 points in round four last year and 37 points to Sandhurst in round 10 this year in what has been their only loss of the season so far.
The Bulldogs are now two games clear at the top of the ladder after last week's 58-point win at home over Strathfieldsaye, and while they will be keen for a strong showing on the QEO, the Bloods will also have a point to prove after copping a 106-point thrashing from Gisborne back in round six.
The fourth-placed Bloods are in good form with four wins in a row, with mid/forward Michael Herlihy (38 possessions against Castlemaine last week) leading the charge, while forward Brock Harvey has kicked 18 goals in those four victories.
Last time: Gisborne 23.14 (152) def South Bendigo 7.4 (46).
Since 2010: Gisborne 13; South Bendigo 9.
2.20pm Saturday at Maryborough.
The Storm's depth across the club has been tested like never before this past week as COVID has had a major impact on availability.
That's why the banking of early wins has been so important this year with the Storm, despite last week's 58-point loss to Gisborne, well poised to finish top three.
Maryborough continues to crack in and win its share of the ball, but desperately needs some potency inside 50 to capitalise on the work of Aidan Hare, Liam Latch and Coby Perry, who last week combined for 138 possessions, 19 marks and 27 clearances against Eaglehawk.
Last time: Strathfieldsaye 33.21 (219) def Maryborough 1.5 (11).
Since 2010: Strathfieldsaye 20; Maryborough 3.
2.20pm Saturday at Golden Square.
If it's anything like their round six encounter, this should be a ripper between the Bulldogs and Tigers.
Super impressive performance by Golden Square last week in dismantling Sandhurst by 69 points on the QEO with the Bulldogs back to their defensive best in conceding just four goals.
The Bulldogs will be fiercely determined to get one back on the Tigers, who won their round six match by seven points.
Looking forward to watching the competition's two leading goalkickers and class forwards in action - Golden Square's Joel Brett (73) and Kyneton's Rhys Magin (61).
Last time: Kyneton 15.5 (95) def Golden Square 12.16 (88).
Since 2010: Golden Square 17; Kyneton 3; Drawn 1.
2.20pm Saturday at Eaglehawk.
Three wins in a row for Eaglehawk in which it has climbed from seventh to fifth and is back in control of its finals destiny.
Billy Evans continues to set the tone for the Hawks, including a 43 disposal and nine clearance game against Maryborough last week where he was superbly supported by Dillon Williams (37 disposals, 11 tackles, 10 clearances).
While the Hawks have built some momentum, the Dragons are two games outside the top five with just four rounds to play, making this an absolute must-win game if they are to keep their finals pulse flickering.
Last time: Eaglehawk 14.13 (97) def Sandhurst 11.16 (82).
Since 2010: Eaglehawk 12; Sandhurst 11.
Luke West (58) - Kangaroo Flat, Gisborne, Strathfieldsaye, Golden Square, Eaglehawk.
Adam Bourke (58) - Kangaroo Flat, Gisborne, Strathfieldsaye, Golden Square, Eaglehawk.
Richard Jones (56) - Kangaroo Flat, Gisborne, Strathfieldsaye, Golden Square, Eaglehawk.
2.15pm Saturday at Bridgewater.
Three wins in a row for the Mean Machine and then a bye last week to freshen up for this clash with Newbridge.
Callum Prest has been in ripping form in the middle for the Mean Machine, featuring among their best two players in four of their past five games, with fellow mid Harry Donegan and defender Lachlan Allison also playing pivotal roles.
The Mean Machine at home and with the lure of the top three still very much in the offering should have too much class for the Maroons.
Last time: Bridgewater 17.15 (117) def Newbridge 10.5 (65).
Since 2010: Bridgewater 19; Newbridge 6.
2.15pm Saturday at Serpentine.
The Panthers are now on a 10-game winning streak, with their average scoreline during those 10-consecutive victories 171-41.
While there's always a chance of an upset any time two sides step on the park, would expect the Panthers' dominant form to continue, with one of the key points of interest now Marong full-forward Brandyn Grenfell's pursuit of the league goalkicking record for a season.
Now with 129 for the year - 110 of which have come in the 10 wins in a row - Grenfell needs 11 more to get to the record mark of 140.
Last time: Marong 26.17 (173) def BL-Serpentine 12.1 (73).
Since 2010: Marong 12; BL-Serpentine 11.
2.15pm Saturday at Calivil.
Two teams in vastly different positions - the Bulldogs are fighting for the premiership; the Demons are fighting to try to avoid the wooden spoon.
Would expect that to be reflected in the scoreline, particularly with the business end of the season quickly approaching and the Bulldogs wanting to make sure they hit the finals with all cylinders firing.
Last time: Pyramid Hill 12.11 (83) def Calivil United 1.2 (8).
Since 2010: Pyramid Hill 18; Calivil United 8.
2.15pm Saturday at Mitiamo.
Certainly has the feel of a danger game about it for Mitiamo.
The Superoos (3rd) are five wins ahead of the Eagles (6th) on the ladder, but Maiden Gully YCW should fancy its chance of an upset, particularly if the game is up for grabs at three quarter-time.
While they are 9-5 the Superoos' fadeouts in games continue to be a concern (they have won 10 first halves and only six second halves), while the Eagles are playing much better footy now than back in round seven when they stormed home and lost to Mitiamo by just 11 points.
Last time: Mitiamo 13.9 (87) def Maiden Gully YCW 11.10 (76).
Since 2010: Mitiamo 19; Maiden Gully YCW 6.
Luke West (49) - Bridgewater, Marong, Pyramid Hill, Mitiamo.
Adam Bourke (47) - Bridgewater, Marong, Pyramid Hill, Mitiamo.
2.15pm Saturday at Lockington.
Two weeks out from the finals the HDFNL's top two teams get the chance to test themselves against each other.
The two pace-setters have lost just one game each for the year, with the Cats' only defeat coming against the Grasshoppers in round eight when belted by 47 points.
The Cats will be hellbent on redeeming themselves from that disappointing performance, while there's also the chance to sew up the minor premiership.
On the flipside, the Grasshoppers can assume top spot heading into the last round if they can get the job done again over the Cats, but that isn't going to happen unless they rectify their lethargic starts of recent weeks.
Last time: Colbinabbin 12.9 (81) def LBU 4.10 (34).
Since 2010: LBU 13; Colbinabbin 11.
2.15pm Saturday at Toolleen.
The other marquee game of round 17 between 3rd (Mount Pleasant) and 4th (North Bendigo), with the result to have a bearing on the crucial double chance.
With the Bulldogs having a bye in the final round, they must win to be any chance of leaping the Blues and grabbing third - but even then would still be reliant on Mount Pleasant losing to Colbinabbin next week to hold onto it.
For the Blues, the double chance will be all theirs for the first time since 2007 if they can win Saturday.
With plenty at stake and only one point the difference last time they met, all signs point to a cracking contest.
Last time: North Bendigo 8.12 (60) def Mount Pleasant 8.11 (59).
Since 2010: North Bendigo 21; Mount Pleasant 2.
2.15pm Saturday at Huntly.
Been a tough grind for the Hawks and Bloods this season, but they will both enter this clash optimistic of their chances.
Both have competed well at times with the top echelon of teams this year, so who can be better for longer in this one and capitalise on the opportunity? Huntly... just.
Last time: Elmore 13.9 (87) def Huntly 10.8 (68).
Since 2010: Huntly 13; Elmore 10.
2.15pm Saturday at Gunbower.
The ball is in White Hills' court. Win their last two games against Leitchville-Gunbower and Huntly and the Demons play finals.
The Demons got themselves up for a big game against Heathcote last week that they won by seven points to move into the finals box seat, but can't afford to rest on their laurels against a Bombers side that although it has lost 13 in a row has shown it will fight the season right out until the end.
Last time: White Hills 19.14 (128) def Leitchville-Gunbower 8.5 (53).
Since 2010: Leitchville-Gunbower 12; White Hills 11.
Adam Bourke (56) - Lockington-Bamawm United, North Bendigo, Elmore, White Hills.
Luke West (52) - Lockington-Bamawm United, Mount Pleasant, Huntly, White Hills.
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