2.20pm Saturday at Gisborne.
Five wins in a row now for Gisborne since its only blemish of the season against Sandhurst back in round 10.
Plenty has been said about the firepower in the Bulldogs' front half, but defensively they haven't conceded more than nine goals during their five-game winning streak, with the duo of vice-captain Jack Reaper and Liam Spear two of the best rebounding defenders in the competition, while in the middle, ruckman Braidon Blake continues to exert a major influence.
Would expect the Bulldogs to continue to tune-up for the finals with a strong victory against a Roos side that has had young forward Lachlan Wilson perform well to feature among the league's top 10 goalkickers with 32 in a team with just four wins.
Last time: Gisborne 22.12 (144) def Kangaroo Flat 6.9 (45).
Since 2010: Gisborne 17; Kangaroo Flat 6.
2.20pm Saturday at Strathfieldsaye.
Clash of two top-five teams that were only separated by one point earlier in the season when the Storm won their round seven encounter by the barest of margins.
The Bloods competed valiantly for three quarters against Gisborne last week, but a poor second term proved costly in what became a 44-point loss and the same will apply on Saturday - lapse for 30 minutes and a high quality team like the Storm will make them pay.
While Jake Moorhead is shaping as a red-hot contender for the Micheslen Medal, fellow Storm midfielder Cal McCarty is continuing to put together some sort of season - his past six games have yielded a combined 275 touches, 55 marks, 29 tackles and 53 clearances.
Last time: Strathfieldsaye 12.18 (90) def South Bendigo 13.11 (89).
Since 2010: Strathfieldsaye 18; South Bendigo 4; Drawn 1.
2.20pm Saturday at Castlemaine.
The equation is simple for Golden Square - beat Castlemaine for the 32nd time in a row and the double chance is guaranteed.
Would expect the Bulldogs to have few dramas banking the four points at Camp Reserve before rounding out the home and away season with two huge games against fellow flag contenders Gisborne and Strathfieldsaye.
In a bitter late-season blow for the Magpies a groin injury to their premier midfielder Tommy Horne adds to a growing list of sidelined players out of last week's 27-point loss to Kangaroo Flat.
The Magpies certainly need no reminding of the brilliance of the competition's leading goalkicker Joel Brett, who booted 14 against them in round seven, while Bulldogs skipper Jack Geary in his half-back/midfield role continues to lead superbly.
Last time: Golden Square 33.11 (209) def Castlemaine 4.3 (27).
Since 2010: Golden Square 23; Castlemaine 0.
2.20pm Saturday at Kyneton.
The stakes will certainly be high at the Kyneton Showgrounds in this vital battle in the finals race.
It doesn't get much tighter between the Tigers (5th) and Hawks (6th), who are both on 32 points and separated by a mere 0.64 per cent on the ladder.
The winner will potentially end the round in fourth position and with their finals destiny in their hands, while the loser will most likely enter the last two rounds in seventh position and firmly under the pump.
Both sides are coming off losses last week, while the Hawks suffered a blow at the tribunal on Wednesday night with workhorse midfielder Noah Wheeler suspended for one game for rough conduct.
While the finals are still three weeks away, expect this game to be played at nothing short of a finals-like intensity given the ramifications of the result.
Last time: Kyneton 11.14 (80) def Eaglehawk 7.17 (59).
Since 2010: Eaglehawk 20; Kyneton 3.
2.20pm Saturday at QEO.
Would expect this to be a commanding Sandhurst win on the QEO that will keep the Dragons still very much in the finals mix.
Win on Saturday as expected against the Magpies - who they have beaten 22 times in a row - and the seventh-placed Dragons move to 32 points and with a strong percentage will elevate above the loser of the Kyneton-Eaglehawk game.
Last time: Sandhurst 25.14 (164) def Maryborough 8.7 (55).
Since 2010: Sandhurst 22; Maryborough 2.
Luke West (58) - Gisborne, Strathfieldsaye, Golden Square, Kyneton, Sandhurst.
Adam Bourke (58) - Gisborne, Strathfieldsaye, Golden Square, Kyneton, Sandhurst.
Richard Jones (56) - Gisborne, Strathfieldsaye, Golden Square, Kyneton, Sandhurst.
2.15pm Saturday at Marong.
Shapes as a history-making day with Marong full-forward Brandyn Grenfell needing to kick just four goals to set a new Loddon Valley league home and away record.
The benchmark is the 140 goals Bridgewater's Peter Collins kicked in the 1982 season, with Grenfell starting Saturday on 137.
Given his formline of 8, 18, 15, 6, 9, 10 and 13 in the seven games since the Panthers' double-bye, you'd think those four goals would be a fait accompli, along with another big Marong win to close out its home and away season.
Last time: Marong 20.19 (139) def Calivil United 1.2 (8).
Since 2010: Calivil United 12; Marong 10.
2.15pm Saturday at Newbridge.
Off the rollicking high of last week's last-gasp win over arch-rival Bridgewater, the Maroons host Pyramid Hill.
As good as last week was for the Maroons, would anticipate the Bulldogs continuing their build to the finals with a comfortable win - albeit the margin will depend on which Pyramid Hill turns up in front of goal.
The past two weeks the Bulldogs have kicked an accurate 29.9 against Calivil United, plus a wayward 10.19 against Mitiamo.
Last time: Pyramid Hill 33.15 (213) def Newbridge 5.2 (32).
Since 2010: Pyramid Hill 15; Newbridge 9.
2.15pm Saturday at Inglewood.
Opportunity knocks for the Bears to absolutely make sure of their finals berth.
While it's still mathematically possible that the Bears can be dislodged from fifth spot by Maiden Gully YCW - although highly unlikely - defeat the Blues and fifth spot is theirs for the keeping.
Given that incentive on the offering, would expect the Bears to take care of business against an Inglewood side that has lost 10 in a row, but when the dust settles on the season, will be able to look back on 2022 as a major step forward.
Last time: BL-Serpentine 20.11 (131) def Inglewood 7.8 (50).
Since 2010: BL-Serpentine 19; Inglewood 4.
2.15pm Saturday at Maiden Gully.
Two teams that will be hungry to get back on the park to atone for disappointing losses last week, with Bridgewater getting beaten on the last kick of the game by Newbridge and Maiden Gully YCW copping an 88-point hiding from Mitiamo.
Fancy the Mean Machine being the side to bounce back and keep itself in the mix for third heading into the last round.
Last time: Bridgewater 17.9 (111) def Maiden Gully YCW 7.5 (47).
Since 2010: Bridgewater 19; Maiden Gully YCW 4.
Luke West (49) - Marong, Pyramid Hill, Bears Lagoon-Serpentine, Bridgewater.
Adam Bourke (47) - Marong, Pyramid Hill, Bears Lagoon-Serpentine, Bridgewater.
2.15pm Saturday at Elmore.
Last chance for the Cats to get themselves ready for the upcoming finals series.
Whatever happens on Saturday, the Cats will finish on top of the ladder, have next week off and then play in the second semi-final on August 20.
While the Cats have a premiership tilt to look forward to, it's season over for the Bloods come 5pm - a year that will end with three wins unless they can conjure a huge upset at home.
Last time: LBU 24.15 (159) def Elmore 7.6 (48).
Since 2010: LBU 19; Elmore 7.
2.15pm Saturday at Colbinabbin.
It's 2nd vs 3rd, but effectively a dead rubber, with the two traditional rivals set to meet again in the qualifying final the following week at Lockington.
All that's on the line is determining what position they finish on the ladder for the history books - second or third - which is neither here nor there under the top-five finals format.
Then again, winning form is good form and you'd rather be going into a finals series on the back of a strong performance than not, plus being one of the competition's great rivalries, neither club likes losing to each other.
Last time: Mount Pleasant 13.6 (84) def Colbinabbin 12.10 (82).
Since 2010: Colbinabbin 17; Mount Pleasant 5.
2.15pm Saturday at Heathcote.
The key point of focus in this game centres around Heathcote and its quest to play finals for the first time since 2013.
The Saints on their home turf need to, firstly, hold up their end of the bargain and defeat the Bombers, which they would be expected to.
They then need to rely on White Hills losing to Huntly to snatch fifth from the Demons.
But all they can worry about is what they can control and that's their result against the Bombers, who will finish the season with the wooden spoon.
Last time: Heathcote 15.10 (100) def Leitchville-Gunbower 8.7 (55).
Since 2010: Leitchville-Gunbower 14; Heathcote 10.
2.15pm Saturday at White Hills.
The other game that has implications on the finals centering around White Hills.
Quite simply a win for White Hills at home over Huntly seals the deal for the Demons - they hold on to fifth spot and play North Bendigo in the elimination final at Colbinabbin.
But lose and the Demons open the door to Heathcote grabbing fifth if the Saints - as expected - knock over Leitchville-Gunbower.
Surely, there's too much on the line for the Demons to drop this one
Last time: White Hills 11.8 (74) def Huntly 4.6 (30).
Since 2010: White Hills 12; Huntly 12.
Adam Bourke (56) - Lockington-Bamawm United, Colbinabbin, Heathcote, White Hills.
Luke West (52) - Lockington-Bamawm United, Mount Pleasant, Heathcote, White Hills.
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