EFL Media’s Tim Fitzsimons previews all the upcoming weekend’s action in Division 3.
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South Belgrave v Park Orchards
South Belgrave’s attempt to record back-to-back wins for the first time in 2017 will be a tough assignment as it hosts ladder leaders Park Orchards.
Even though the Saints have recorded some impressive wins in 2017, including their 16-point victory over The Basin last week, South Belgrave has struggled against the heavyweights of Division 3 this year and Park Orchards will be one of the toughest prospects they will face.
The Sharks were well too strong back when these sides met in Round 1, registering 47 scoring shots on the way to a comprehensive 93-point victory.
They will also be looking to return to the winners list following their heart-breaking one-point loss at the hands of Templestowe last week.
It is hard to see the Sharks losing this one in what is a must-win in order to stay on top of the table.
East Burwood v Scoresby
Scoresby will be looking to extend its three-match winning streak when it travels to East Burwood Reserve to take on the Rams.
Just one win outside the top five and two from top spot, the Magpies will be desperate to knock over the win-less Rams as a tight struggle in the top of the table has meant every game carries extreme significance.
East Burwood on the other hand is still in search of that elusive first win of 2017 and will be hoping to build on last weeks four-goal defeat to Chirnside Park in which they recorded its highest score for the season.
It was a one-sided affair when these sides met in Round 1 with the Magpies comprehensive winners to the tune of 82 points on the back of a 14 goal to one second half.
If the Rams can stick with Scoresby for longer than they did in Round 1, they will be able to give the Magpies a scare but it will be a big ask for them to topple over the finals aspirants.
Ringwood v The Basin
We were treated to an absolute nail-biter when these sides met in round one with The Basin just getting across the line by a solitary point at Batterham Reserve.
The Redbacks will be looking for revenge following that loss and their outstanding form suggests they will likely go in as hot favourites.
They have been terrific since their 0-3 start with their resounding 58-point victory over Heathmont to replace them in second position capping off a great two month period.
The Basin on the other hand will be hoping to find some of its early season form that has dropped away and lead to the Bears winning just one of their previous five games.
Stopping the division’s leading goal kicker in Trent Farmer will go a long way for the Bears as the star forward is in red hot form on the back of a six goal display last weekend.
Ringwood is playing as good of footy as anyone in Division 3 at the moment and will be tough to stop in this one.
Templestowe v Heathmont
This is set to be one of the games of the round as the fourth-placed Jets take on the third-placed Dockers in what is a vital game for both sides in the race towards September.
These sides had contrasting performances last week with Templestowe knocking off ladder leaders Park Orchards by one point whilst Heathmont was emphatically beaten by Ringwood.
Templestowe is just starting to hit its strides after a somewhat inconsistent start to the season and the thrilling win over Park Orchards will make it confident it can beat anyone.
The Jets will be looking to regroup after last week’s disappointment and get back to the form that saw them entrenched in the top two before last week.
Heathmont came away winners by 22 points in the previous clash with the Dockers back in Round 1. Thomas Rourke was best on for the Jets whilst Kevin Clark chipped in with three majors.
In what is set to be a battle that will go down to the wire, either side could easily take home the four points in this one.
Boronia v Ferntree Gully
Boronia hosts Ferntree Gully in what is to be a massive day for both of these clubs as they compete for the beyondblue Cup in the EFL’s broadcast game on 98.1 Eastern FM.
On what is such a big cause off the field, on-field it is set to be a hugely-anticipated clash as both the Hawks and the Eagles look to push for a finals berth with just half a game separating the two sides.
Boronia is having a somewhat inconsistent season, recording impressive wins against some quality sides but also having played in some disappointing losses and a draw to last-placed East Burwood to go with these wins.
These sides met back in Round 1 when Boronia had a comfortable 81-point win over the Eagles.
Jacob Paterson was the standout with seven goals for the Hawks so Ferntree Gully will be looking to ensure it keeps him under control.
Since then, the Eagles have been impressive having edged their way into the top echelon of teams vying for a finals spot and will take in good form going into this one having comfortably taken care of Warrandyte last weekend.
In what will be a hotly-contested encounter in such a big day for both clubs, no side will be leaving anything out there on Tormore Reserve this Saturday.
Warrandyte v Chirnside Park
The final match of Round 13 sees Chirnside Park travelling to Warrandyte to take on a young Bloods outfit.
The Panthers will be looking to make it three wins in a row as they distance themselves from the bottom few teams following wins over East Burwood and The Basin.
They are just starting to find some mid-season form after a poor run from Round 3 through till Round 10 where they only registered the one win.
The Bloods on the other hand will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak whilst also avenging their opening round loss to Chirnside Park where the Panthers piled on 16.16 to 3.1 after quarter time.
They are however an improved side since then, as blow-outs have become less common for the young team as they try to find their feet this season.
Chirnside Park will go in favourites here, however at home, don’t be surprised if Warrandyte can make it a very interesting contest.
The opinions expressed in this article are purely subjective and remain those of the author.