ROUND nine of the KNTFL will throw up some interesting clashes this Saturday, starting with the rematch of the 2013 grand final.
PENOLA host KEITH and the home side are rightfully favourites this time around, the same as they were when they claimed last year's decider.
Both teams come into the game in form - Penola faced a quality Bordertown side in their last start and defeated the equally well-credentialled team by blowing them away in one quarter.
Adam Merrett has 49 goals already this season with this weekend marking the halfway mark.
He is tracking well for a second consecutive ton of goals this year.
Keith on the other hand had essentially a training run last weekend as they piled on 30 goals to three at home to Border Districts.
All players contributed and that even spread will serve them well this weekend, but Penola at home is sure to be a tough ask.
PADTHAWAY travel down the highway to face NARACOORTE.
Recent history between these teams has seen the Demons with an advantage, something which burns with the Lions.
Although hit with injury Padthaway are still a quality side and start firm favourites, although Naracoorte aren't to be underestimated.
Much centres on the performance of Padthaway's dynamic forward line.
Led by former AFL forward Scott Welsh, the Lions have been able to hit the scoreboard regularly and were particularly effective last weekend with 23.7.
Naracoorte's backline is inexperienced and will be hard-pressed to stop the class of the Lions.
KYBYBOLITE play KINGSTON at home in a battle of the foot of the ladder.
This is a genuine chance for either side to claim a much-needed victory with both currently winless.
Kyby looked a little better against Padthaway last weekend but were still comfortably beaten, while Kingston over the year have pushed good teams but are still susceptible to heavy defeats.
An interesting battle in this match will be between Kingston recruit Matt Williams, who battled admirably against Mark Snowball last weekend, and interleague ruckman Cam Sandercock.
With both teams propped up by young players it should be an exciting, free-flowing contest.
LUCINDALE claimed the Wilks Cup over Kingston last weekend but now face a stronger opponent in MUNDULLA at Roo Park.
The Roos were bolstered by coach Sam Logan playing last weekend with the big man hitting the scoreboard well in his side's win with six goals while the ever-present Sam Mardling had four of his own.
A much-improved team this year, the Roos are still developing and will get there but at this minute the Moots probably have their number.
Fresh off a bye Mundulla are still well and truly in the race for the top three and will see this game as a chance to solidify that position if they can get a good win.
BORDER DISTRICTS return to their second home in Goroke, hosting KANIVA/LEEOR UNITED for the day.
The Cougars are one of the top teams while Borders are a long way off - as shown by their performance against Keith last weekend.
Goals have been hard to come by at the Eagles, with Clint Barras's bag of nine in their stirring win against Naracoorte at Goroke seeming like an age ago.
The club will be hoping their usual strong form across the border continues but working against them is Kaniva's close proximity to the venue.
Most teams don't like travelling to Goroke but it isn't much of a trip for Kaniva/Leeor so Borders will need something special to come up with the win.
Bordertown have the bye.
- Border Districts defender Jay Zeuner, who started the season at Wimmera League struggler Nhill before returning to the Eagles, faced the KNTFL tribunal on June 19 reportedly on multiple charges after an incident in the game against Keith on the weekend. See the result here.
Country Championships addition
- In representative football news, Kane Cuthbertson of Bordertown has been added to the Murray SE Zone side to play at the Country Championships in Kadina in July.
In the juniors, 15 KNTFL under 15 players have been selected to try out for the Glenelg Country side at the SANFL Under 15 Championships.
Tobin Cox, Dan Fraser (Padthaway), Darcy Fogarty, Brad McCarthy, Will Gould (Lucindale), Sam Bates, Will Harris and Ralph Palma (Naracoorte) join other KNTFL, Mid SE and WBFL players for the tryouts. These players were selected after strong performances in the recent SE Zone Carnival, where the KNTFL finished third in both the Under 14 and under 15 grades - with Glenelg the champions of both. Palma and Fogarty were named the KNTFL's best players in the under 14s and under 15s respectively.