Toss the coin and hope for the best this weekend

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Joe Pignataro

What a fascinating weekend of William Buck Premier football we are set up for this Saturday.

The opportunities that await St Kevin’s, Old Melburnians and Old Brighton to pull away from the rest of the competition rest solely on their own shoulders.

For Old Trinity, Uni Blues and Old Xaverians, it’s on them to bring the front running three back to the pack.

All games this weekend are genuine toss of the coin contests.

Away from those six sides, perhaps the most fascinating game this weekend is “the middle of the table” Old Scotch playing host to Collegians at Camberwell Sports Park.

The Purple Army are on the march, given the events of the previous fortnight and findings handed down to University Blues, their season has gone from more than a light pulse to a strong heartbeat with finals in real contention. Dave Mirra and his counterparts have won four games in a row, they come to ‘the cave’ ready to make it five.

What stands in their way is a young, brash, confident Old Scotch who come into the contest having slayed the Uni Blues beast for the second time this season. Should they be fortunate enough to play with the same 22 this week, it’s going to be a challenge for the travelling Lions to upstage the Cardinals at home.

What we know for sure is that we’re in for a ripper day on RSN Carnival covering this one.

Caulfield Grammarians make the road trip out to the Snakepit. A win for the Fields will almost certainly dispel any murmurings of potential relegation. They last made the trek out to St Bernard’s in Round 6 of 2021 and triumphed comfortably. Simon ‘Punchy’ Williams will be hoping for more of the same.

The Snowdogs are battling, scoring has been an issue all season long. Against Caulfield at Glen Huntly earlier this year, they managed to kick their second highest score of the season with the game in the balance before falling away. If ever there was a time for an upset victory and cut a run of 9-straight losses, this could be the one.

Going Bayside, Old Brighton will welcome Old Xaverians to Brighton Beach Oval. While the weather might be cold and frosty, on the field will be anything but that. These two sides don’t like one another.

The red and black mafia will be driving out there still biting the bottom lip after the Round 2 defeat in the dying seconds earlier this year against the Tonners. However, they head to BBO confident that if they can produce what they did last year out there, silence the red and blue crowd early, they’re going to be in for a good day.

Old Brighton must win to keep in touch with Old Melburnians and St Kevin’s, Old Xaverians must win to keep Collegians at bay and stay inside the top 4. The repercussions for the loser could prove costly in the long run, but for now we’re just going to enjoy the fact that we’re talking about mouthwatering contests like this instead of being told to lock up and stay home, as we were this time 12 months ago.

Old Melburnians are the next team to ‘feel the wrath’ of University Blues. Satts’ men are back on home soil at Elsternwick Park for this one and don’t need to read this column to know the importance of walking away with a W next to their name. Since losing to Blues in Round 6 they’ve lost one game to the ladder leaders St Kevin’s and playing the best footy they have as a team unit in a long time.

The most pleasing aspect is that they’re producing that high quality, week in, week out. And not at random intervals.

Uni Blues had their fire blown out by Old Scotch after half time last week, and never really got into gear. They come to the wide expanses of VAFA HQ with a knowledge of how to play this ground. Sam Grimley has the chance to extend his stay at the top of the sharpshooters list while OM’s come up with ways to cover the loss of Oskar Hosking in defence.

A fortnight ago, Blues would’ve come into this contest fighting for a spot in the top 4, now they’re coming in fighting for a spot in William Buck Premier. A game of importance for OM’s and their finals aspirations, is even more important for the Blues and where they stand to finish in 2022.

St Kevin’s certainly will feel confident coming home to T H King this weekend against Old Trinity, but certainly shouldn’t treat them as easybeats.

They only need to be 1% off on Saturday and leave the door slightly ajar for the T’s to run straight through it. Last weekend’s against the odds loss to Collegians may be the prod they need after the double bye to realise the importance of being switched on at every juncture of the season.

It’s been said by every coach, nearly every week in William Buck Premier. There are no easy games and this is no exception.

Old Trinity have put together very good football for minutes of quarters, and then quarters of games, the challenge has been maintaining it for four full quarters. While for St Kevin’s, this weekend will be all about tightening the screws further on the 18-man defensive zone, and kicking accurately in front of goal.

We’ve got the gold minted coin out ready to be tossed in the air for all of these games this weekend. Lucky number 13 is the round, will the coin fall the way of those sides who are considered “against the odds” or will it go the way of the “favourites”. The way it’s going, the coin could well land on its side. And yet again, we’d be none the wiser.

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