It’s back to a full round of five matches in the KNTFL this weekend.
The top four sides will play against one another in two vital games.
Lucindale will host Mundulla in a 1 v 2 clash, with the winner taking outright top spot on the ladder.
Both sides have made big changes to their sides, with Mundulla stronger but Lucindale losing some key names.
In the sides named in the Budget, Mundulla gets back Murray South East players Tim McIntyre and Jake McGrice as well as key position players Luke Wiese and Matt Schilling.
Unfortunately for them the league’s leading goalkicker Jamie Grosser, a small forward, is still missing.
Lucindale has swung the changes, with reigning league medallist one of five players coming in along with four younger players, but on the list of “outs” is forwards Sam Graetz and Patrick Baker, midfielder Tom Logan and defender Josh Teakle. Lucindale will do well to win without all of those players.
The other great match-up is Padthaway (3rd) hosting Keith (4th). Padthaway lost last week but only narrowly to the powerful Mundulla side and the Lions are one of the form sides of the competition, with almost a full-strength side.
Unfortunately they look to have lost key recruit Wade Thompson with a knee injury which won’t help their forward line, while Jason Dicker and Isaac Noles are also named as outs this week.
Keith had the week off to freshen up and will be hoping to repeat the result of the last time these sides met back in round 3, when the Crows got up in a thriller by four points. The Crows have played well apart from a bad loss to Mundulla three weeks ago, and they will be up for this one in a battle for a top three spot.
Traditional rivals Kybybolite (5th) and Naracoorte (8th) will clash at Kyby, with Kyby firm favourites to win, but surely not by as much as on ANZAC Day when the margin was over 12 goals.
Naracoorte has built nicely into this season and is probably a better side than its low ranking on the ladder suggests. The Demons have scrapped well against the top sides and finally got to enjoy themselves by kicking away to a big win over Border Districts last week.
They would love to create a season highlight by beating their old rivals this weekend.
Kaniva/Leeor United (7th) will try to keep the tiniest flicker of a finals hope alive with a win over Border Districts (11th) who are struggling at the bottom of the ladder.
Borders will get back Cam Sandercock from Murray SE duties but would need more than that to cause an upset over the very capable Cougars side.
Bordertown (10th) is struggling a bit at present and will host Penola (6th), with Penola wanting a big win to enhance its chances of climbing back inside the top five.
In a quirk of the draw, Kingston has the bye for the second week in a row after also sitting out the SA Country Championships weekend last week.