Dennington near full strength for Merrivale test

Dennington will field an unchanged line-up for its second-versus-third clash with Merrivale this weekend. 

Blake Rudland-Castles shows his enthusiasm for a handball drill as East Warrnambool goes through its paces under former Carlton player Glenn Manton on Wednesday night at Reid Oval. 140730AS24 Picture: AARON SAWALL

Blake Rudland-Castles shows his enthusiasm for a handball drill as East Warrnambool goes through its paces under former Carlton player Glenn Manton on Wednesday night at Reid Oval. 140730AS24 Picture: AARON SAWALL

Coach Ben Parkinson said it provided his side with a welcome confidence boost at the pointy end of the season. 

“Out of our senior and reserves list I think there are only two blokes who are out injured,” he said. 

“We are looking really strong so there are no excuses for personnel. We’ve got the best side in that we can. 

“This is a must win for us, and I’m sure everyone else will say the same. We need to win this to really shore up that top-three spot.” 

While the Dogs are unchanged, Merrivale will have added firepower up forward with the return of Rhys Raymond and Josh Guiney, but Jet Dowie, Joe Woonton and Jarrod Petherick will miss the crucial match. 

Panmure will be without ruckman James Keane and Daniel Roache for its home clash with Old Collegians tomorrow. 

They are among five outs for the Bulldogs, along with Patrick Ryan, Jason Mifsud and Tommy Jones, who are being rested. Their replacements are Ben Meade, Kallan Melican, Andrew McPherson and Shaun Griffin. 

Coach Simon O’Keefe said there were no long- term injuries among the outs, rather they were taking a cautious approach. 

“They are a bit sore and fatigued which is what happens at this time of the year, so we don’t want to take any risks,” he said. 

O’Keefe said Keane and Roache sitting out this week provided a good opportunity for Kallan Melican to step up. 

Old Collegians have rovers Eli Barker and Matthew Lynch returning from soreness, while Matthew Petherick and Nathan Wallace were omitted.

Coach Daryl Beechey said they were two “massive inclusions” that would add some polish in a contest he thinks will be a hard slog.  

East Warrnambool will be bolstered by the return of four experienced campaigners for its clash against Timboon Demons at Reid Oval. 

Returning are Simon Tindal, Jonah Hughson, Ben Gray and Ash Sumner, who were all unavailable last week. Hayden Laird, Josh Hetherington, Cody Mailes and Luke Hadden are omitted. 

Coach Paul Butters said the inclusions would add some experience and stronger bodies for a hard- fought contest. 

Former Carlton player Glenn Manton took Bombers training on Wednesday night and Butters said he hoped the playing group took something out of his message. 

“It was unreal for the playing group. He gave them some great pointers and tips and some really good insights into his career and how to work effectively as a team,” Butters said. 

Timboon Demons will bring in Dean Whitehead, Kris Ward and Josh Walker for  Sam Newey, Luke Davison and Neil Gowland. 

Deakin University has made seven changes for its game against Kolora-Noorat. 

The Sharks are without key backman Aidan Bourke, who will miss the rest of the season with a broken jaw. Also out is ruckman Jake Tanner with the flu. 

Lachlan Hulands returns,  along with coach Matthew Lenehan, Adam Williams, Brien Roberts, Courtneay Hobbs and Michael Smith. 

Kolora-Noorat has added Brad Hillman for the match at the Pond. 

Brett Membrey returns from a groin injury for Allansford, one of six changes for the Cats before its clash with Russells Creek. 

Coach Josh Parkinson said Leatham Robe, Nathan Wilson, Josh Monaghan, Ben Lenehan would return,  with Matt Smith also called up for his first senior game this season.  Out are Jason Wilson (groin) Sam Burchell (shoulder) Patrick Eldridge, Phillip Chatfield, Matthew Spencer and Tom Loughnan. 

Russells Creek is unchanged. 

Nirranda heads into its  clash with South Rovers at Cobden Recreation Reserve with no changes, while the Lions bring in Adam Payne.

jwoolley@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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