St Arnaud to host Birchip-Watchem in must-win clash

KICK: St Arnaud's Shane Thorne. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

KICK: St Arnaud's Shane Thorne. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

ST ARNAUD president Brett Douglas believes his side's match against Birchip-Watchem tomorrow is a must-win.

The second-placed Saints will host the fifth-placed Bulls in an important match for both sides at Lord Nelson Park, St Arnaud.

For the host, a win will keep it a game ahead of top four rivals Charlton and Boort.

The Bulls will be equally keen for victory, which would help close the gap between them and fourth place to just one match.

Douglas said it could be a danger game for the Saints.

"We're definitely concerned about them," he said.

"They were two goals down against Wedderburn at three-quarter-time when they met them last, and they'll be much better than when we first played them."

The Bulls led the Saints by four points at three-quarter-time when they met in round two, before a nine goal to one final term saw the Saints take the win.

Daniel Needs booted seven goals in that match. The Saints spearhead, who has kicked 28 goals this season, will again be pivotal tomorrow.

Douglas said Jimmy Wray could return from injury, but midfielder Nathan Brown, ankle, and playing-coach James McNamee, hamstring, would not play.

Saints midfielders Caleb Bloomer and Tom Douglas, winger Nick Baldwin and forward Nick Coghlan will all carry form into the clash.

New Saints recruits Shane Thorne and Callan Wilson, who did not play when the sides met in round two, will boost the side.

Thomas Carland has been the Bulls' star performer this season, while recruit Dan Castellano, 21 goals, will be one to watch out for in the forward half.

Third-placed Charlton will host fourth-placed Boort in a match that could help shape the top four.

The Navy Blues will return from a bye, while the Magpies will look to bounce back from a 97-point loss at the hands of Wedderburn.

Jesse Smith has been the Magpies' best in three of their past five matches, while Aaron and Ben Walklate have both been in form for the Navy Blues.

Ladder-leader Wedderburn will carry an imposing run of form into its clash with Wycheproof-Narraport at Donaldson Park, Wedderburn.

As always, Redbacks forward duo Sam Barnes and Brady Herdman will take some stopping, with both coming off 10-goal performances.

Key to the Demons' hopes of causing a big upset will be coaches Ricky Allan and Boe Bish, who both performed strongly and hit the scoreboard in the side's two-point loss to Birchip-Watchem at the weekend.

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