Wayback and Marble Range to battle for first spot

MARK: Ian Jericho takes a mark for Wayback last weekend against Mallee Park.
MARK: Ian Jericho takes a mark for Wayback last weekend against Mallee Park.

Port Lincoln football

THIS weekend will see a top two clash highlight the latest round of Port Lincoln football.

The top four looks set going into the home stretch but all teams will be playing hard with five matches left for each of them before finals start.

Wayback v Marble Range, Centenary Oval

These two teams are divided by 6 per cent on the ladder and a win here could guarantee the double chance for the finals.

Wayback finished strongly to defeat Mallee Park by 41-points last weekend while top side Marble Range scored a dominant 122-point win against bottom side Boston.

The Demons are expecting ruckman Taner Schlink back in the side while Josh McKenzie is out due to injury.

Wayback will want to control the ball around the stoppages and maintain pressure on the Rangers throughout the midfield, shutting down their quick passages.

Thomas Easson, Jason Perkins and the Maxfields can rack up possessions and set up scoring opportunities in the midfield and the Demons will also expect another big game from its forwards including Jonty Seal, James Blewit and young surprise packet Sam Clark.

However Marble Range know how to win the football in the middle and set up inside 50s.

The Rangers are expecting Jayden Sampson back into the side.

Its midfield which includes Boyd West, Ty George and Lance Appleby can set up space and utilise quick passes to move through the midfield.

Kory Beard is coming off another dominant performance with five goals but the Rangers have plenty of scoring options including Billy Byass, Blaze Kay and Tynan Keeley.

It should be an exciting game but Wayback usually have the edge at home and coming off last week’s win should have the goods again.

Mallee Park v Lincoln South, Mallee Park

Mallee Park look set to play finals and will look to begin a strong run home with a win against Lincoln South on Saturday.

The Peckers continue to be well served by Tyler Roderick in the midfield while Kingsley Bilney Jnr has put his services to use across the field and Casey Amos has been key in driving the attack.

Hopefully Mallee Park can expect the return of some big names soon including Justin Lindsay, Ky Miller and coach Graham Johncock and if even one of them appears this weekend it will be a big boost.

The Peckers will stick to their brand of football at home, getting numbers around stoppages, clearances through the middle and effective disposals to get inside the 50.

Lincoln South will be without Jack Waller or Kaleb Hope this weekend but will welcome back Kane Hope and Jordy Smith.

Ben Shillabeer continues to be one of Souths’ top players who can kick goals up forward or cause turnovers in defence, Paul White has been leading by example in the backlines and Levi McDonald has been putting his body in the contests to win the hard ball.

Souths will need to get on top of Mallee Park early to have any chance, apply defensive pressure, prevent them from setting up their run and carry while creating their own space for a run at the 50.

Mallee Park are the dark horse for this year’s finals series, when they are are full strength it will be hard for any team to defeat them.

It is hard to go past the Peckers at home, who should score an easy win.

Boston v Tasman, Poole Oval

Tasman will look to be nipping on the heels of the top two with a win this weekend against Boston at Poole Oval.

The Roosters are two wins clear in third at the moment and are just 0.23 per cent lower than top side Marble Range so a good win here could see them go up to second.

Tasman are expecting Sean Ambrose and Brandon Rosalia back this weekend while Wade Mason is out and Cody Mason, Boyd McCurry and Craig Reincke will go through fitness tests.

Tasman have been well balanced across the field with effective defence, good ball movement through the midfield and big scoring targets up forward.

The Tiger defenders will need to be on their game this weekend to stop the dangerous Rooster forwards, Johann Wagner is coming off another five goal match while Ben Daniels and Brent Harris are also capable of kicking bags.

Boston is expected to be relatively unchanged with the only possible inclusion being Riley King.

The Tigers will need to have their defensive game in full swing this weekend and get numbers around the stoppages if they want a chance at kicking goals.

Sunny Singh and Marko Visic should be effective either in the midfield or up forward while Marcus Ellis and Thomas Reynolds-Rowe will be handy in defence.

Tasman should have a dominant win here and set itself up for second spot.