Wimmera Mail-Times sports journalists COLIN MacGILLIVRAY and NICK DUXSON talk everything football in their column 'Kick-to-Kick'.
CM: Well there has been no shortage of action on and off the field in football this week. Where do we start? The biggest news is Natimuk United's official complaint to Horsham District Football Netball League about alleged racial abuse directed at two of its players. The matter is in the hands of the league now and will be investigated. It's certainly a delicate issue and one the league needs to get right. As Wimmera product Adam Goodes showed last year, there is no place for racism on or off the footy field. At the same time, the allegations have not been proven and every person is entitled to the presumption of innocence until they are proven guilty. No matter what conclusion the league reaches, let's hope it is the right one.
ND: Couldn't agree more Col it's definitely an issue that will create a bit of discussion and hopefully the clubs involved and the league will work through it and find a resolution. On the field, there were a couple of interesting results on Saturday.
CM: Absolutely. The most interesting result of the round was Taylors Lake's upset of Noradjuha-Quantong. Although both were all but out of finals contention entering the round, there was plenty on the line for the Bombers. The club was hosting 20th anniversary celebrations for Quantong's 1994 premiership, with plenty of past premiership players and life members on hand to watch. To surrender a five-goal lead at the final change and lose on a kick in the final 30 seconds was nothing short of embarrassing for the team. Coach Jarred Combe gave his players a huge spray post-match and I don't think there were many who would argue they didn't deserve one. But it was a great result for Taylors Lake especially after the horror year the team had last year. No shortage of action in the Wimmera league either.
ND: Exactly there were also a couple of cracking Wimmera league games at the weekend. Warrack Eagles secured another nail-biting one-point win, with Minyip-Murtoa conceding a strong lead to lose by a point for the second successive week. It leaves the Burras outside the top five, which is a strange turn of events because they have played some good footy this year. Dimboola had an important win over Ararat, Horsham continued its run against Nhill and Stawell made Horsham Saints earn their victory. Going into the midway point of the season, who do you think is best-placed to challenge Laharum?
CM: At the start of the year I picked Kalkee to meet Laharum in a grand final rematch, and if you twisted my arm I'd probably stick with that prediction. The Kees are no longer a juggernaut, but they definitely have enough talent to challenge Laharum on their day. The problem is they can't consistently produce their best footy. That being said, I wouldn't be shocked if Swifts, Harrow-Balmoral or Edenhope-Apsley caught fire at the end of the year and emerged as a contender. The Kees and Saints are the only two sides to get close to Laharum this year, while the Baggies lost by five goals in the wet. But Laharum has clearly earned favouritism no matter which team it faces. Who is shaping up as a big player in the Wimmera league?
ND: Horsham is leading the pack at the moment and rightly so but there are a number of other contenders. Warrack Eagles keep finding ways to win, Dimboola is back on track, Horsham Saints are quietly going about their business and both Ararat and Minyip-Murtoa have shown they are more than capable of matching it with the competition's best. We'll know a bit more when the Eagles meet the Dees and the Saints host the Roos for the second time this season on Saturday.