PREMIERSHIP favourite Panmure will enter tomorrow’s first-versus-second clash against Allansford without a key defender.
Half-back Daniel Meade has been excluded from the Bulldogs’ line-up this weekend with a rib injury.
Panmure playing coach Simon O’Keefe said Meade’s absence was significant, as Allansford boasted a gun forward department, including key targets Brett Membrey and Jet Dowie.
“It’s a bit damaging,” O’Keefe said.
The Bulldogs have promoted Ricky Glare from reserves, in what O’Keefe says will be Panmure’s biggest test of the year.
Allansford has remained unchanged after demolishing finals contender Timboon Demons last weekend.
Coach James Byrne said Panmure was the benchmark of the competition but believed the Cats had what it took to upset the Bulldogs.
“We had a really good win (against Timboon Demons) last week,” he said.
“Everyone deserved to hold their spot.”
In a must-win match for Timboon Demons, the fifth-ranked side has made three changes ahead of tomorrow’s game against sixth-ranked Dennington.
Only percentage separates the pair, which have recorded six wins and four losses each.
Andrew Blake, Jarrad Cook and Sam Hickey are out for the Demons, while Paul Vogels and Ben Whitehead come up from reserves and Andrew Powell returns from injury.
Coach Michael Clements said Powell, a key defender, was an important inclusion as Dennington’s strength was its forward line.
Meanwhile, Dennington has made no changes after last weekend’s win against Deakin University.
Dogs playing coach Darcy Lewis said it had been a long time since his side was unchanged.
“We’re going with the same side this week, which is good,” he said.
“Everyone came through last Saturday’s game uninjured and everyone has been doing their job.
“We’re at full strength.”
It would be fair to say the sting has been taken out of tomorrow’s grand final rematch between fourth-ranked reigning premier Kolora-Noorat and Old Collegians, which is planted at 10th with two wins on the board.
The Power have made a single change, while the Warriors have made three.
Old Collegians welcomes in Tim Edwards and Ben Lehman.
Under 17 player Indiana Phillips will make his senior debut.
Collegians playing coach Michael Sargeant said Phillips had earned his promotion and joined a long list of junior debutants for the Warriors this season.
“He’s a young, hard player and he will bring some youthful enthusiasm into the team,” Sargeant said.
“He will provide some hardness around contests.”
Russells Creek will strive for its fourth win of the year when it hosts Nirranda at Mack Oval tomorrow.
The ninth-placed Roos have made four changes for the match against the seventh-placed Blues.
Nirranda has made the single alteration, with Ben Blair returning to full-forward after a precautionary rest last weekend.
Blues coach Brad Wiggins said his group was preparing for a tough slog in heavy conditions. Merrivale has ushered in Bart Boyle and Nick Roberts for tomorrow’s match against East Warrnambool.
The Bombers have lost key midfielder Tim Chatfield, who has been a consistent performer all season, after suffering a hamstring injury at training on Wednesday night.
Younis Daw (hamstring) and Sam Coleman (groin) were injured last weekend against Kolora-Noorat, while Jake Dorey returns to reserves.
Irish import Andy Sheppard was best-on-ground in reserves last weekend and has earned promotion, along with Marcus Clarke.
Adam McCosh returns to the forward line after breaking his jaw in round seven, while Johnny Malone returns from unavailability.
True to form, Deakin University has made a long list of changes ahead of its home game against South Rovers at Mortlake.
The Lions have made two, with junior Max Croft stepping up to the half-forward/wing and Darren Kelly returning to the back line.
Brendan Coffey is out with a hamstring injury and Adam Kent will try to find form in reserves.