Three rounds to to go, Padthaway on top

THE final five is all but set in the KNTFL.

With three rounds to go Padthaway is a game clear on top.

At home to Kingston this weekend, that is unlikely to change, then with games against Mundulla and Penola to come - both not guaranteed wins but certainly more than likely on past results and current form.

Kaniva/Leeor United sit in second, a game clear of third-placed Penola.

This weekend they play fourth-placed Mundulla in the match of the round.

After being tipped early in the year as one of the teams likely to miss the five in a strong year for the top six teams, Mundulla is now safe.

They Tigers are two games clear of fifth-placed Keith with a much superior percentage and a game in hand.

A win against the Cougars could put them as high as second come Saturday evening if Naracoorte pull off a miraculous upset against Penola (K/L and Penola are equal on points but Penola has a healthy lead percentage-wise).

If the Cougars win then second spot is theirs to lose in the remaining two games.

An interesting sideshow heading into the final three games for Penola is coach Adam Merrett and his bid for a second consecutive 100-goal season, starting against Naracoorte.

On 84 goals at the moment, he kicked 10 last time against Demons.

With Penola heavy favourites it is likely "Hogget" will see a lot of the ball and, as has been the case for most of the last two seasons, when he gets the ball he is usually a good chance to kick a goal.

If he doesn't do it this weekend then next week his side travels to Frances to play Border Districts - a side he kicked 15 against last time.

It seems a case of if, not when, Merrett will reach the ton.

Keith host Lucindale in an important match for the Crows.

After a good start to the year they have stuttered at times and, with a bye in the final round, will have to avoid dropping either this week's game against Lucindale or next week's against Kyby.

If they lose one of these and Bordertown win all three of their games then it's curtains for Brad Richardson's men.

Fortunately for them they are favourites against the Roos and almost assured of victory against Kybybolite which should mean they are safe and will play finals.

Bordertown's task is a little harder.

A game behind Keith, they have games against Kybybolite and Naracoorte to stay in touch.

But their last game is against Kaniva/Leeor United at home - a must-win if they are to leapfrog the Crows.

After losing their last three the Roosters have crashed to earth, from premiership contenders to nearly also-rans. This weekend they host bottom-placed Kyby and will more than fancy their chances, so that's one box likely to be ticked for Adrian Hayes and co.

Border Districts have the bye.

KNTFL Round 16 preview.

KNTFL Round 16 preview.