KNT football round 4 to impact top five

THREE of this weekend's five round 4 matches will be crucial in deciding the make-up of the 2015 KNTFL finals.

Of this weekend's round, only the games between Border Districts and Padthaway, and Naracoorte and Kingston, are not likely to have a big impact on the ladder. The other three games will be highly anticipated match-ups which will reveal more of where each team stands in the finals race.

Bordertown v Keith

Keith finds itself in the match of the round for the second week in a row, and it's obviously not a situation which worries the Crows after their impressive win over Penola last week.

The Crows have surprised the league with their improvement this year, to the point where they sit undefeated on top of the ladder, but this will be their biggest test. Bordertown has also not lost a game, and has also beaten Penola, so the Roosters can be equally confident of getting a win.

It's hard to see where the game might be won and lost so early in the year, but both forward lines look very potent. They have spearheads in Keith's Ben Simounds, and Bordertown's Gene Robinson and Tim Harkness, so it could be a case of which side can restrict the other's scoring capacity will be the winner.

Penola v K/L United

Penola was touted for another big year but is now lagging at 0-2 after two weeks and just needs a win to get going. That won't be easy against a KL side which also started slowly but kicked more than 30 goals last week which might have been the tonic they needed.

The difference here should be depth. Penola has a long list and a good reserves side and should put 21 A grade ready players on the park, while KL have some of the best players in the league but fall away after the first 15 or 16.

Penola at home will surely get a win behind goalkicking machine Adam Merrett to get their season rolling.

Border Districts v Padthaway

Borders are struggling at the moment - coming off a 20-goal beating - and the task doesn't get any easier this week.

Padthaway has just been doing enough to win games, with three narrow victories, but one senses the Lions are about ready to unleash a big performance. They have too many good players not to kick a big score one day soon and there's every chance it could be this week on the smallish Goroke oval.

Borders will battle hard as they do, and they have been known to record the odd upset at Goroke, but they'd be at fantastic odds to do that this week.

Naracoorte v Kingston

The outcome of this one is unlikely to affect the top end of the ladder, but it will be a highly competitive game. Both of these sides are winless but have shown positive signs and don't seem far away from producing good performances.

Naracoorte pushed Padthaway all the way last week, while Kingston was well beaten but showed enough with new recruits Farrer, Labastida and Lohde to suggest they could keep improving. Naracoorte at home is harder to beat and they might just get up.

Kyby v Mundulla

The battle of the Tigers will be ultra competitive this year after Kyby has struggled in these clashes the past few years. Kyby is perhaps the most improved side in the competition, while Mundulla has slipped a little from the heights of last year but is still possibly a finals side and will travel well to Kyby.

The home side is getting great service from its goalkicking on-ballers in Billy Laurie, Jack McKay and Jamie Bittner, and ruckman Dave Arnold is feeding them well to control the middle.

Despite being smashed last week, Mundulla has strength all over the ground but will need to stop that run from the midfield to keep the leash on - and that might be a tough assignment on Kyby's home ground.

Lucindale has the bye this weekend.