K rock Football

GFL – The Run Home

With four rounds remaining in the GFL season, eight teams remain in contention for a finals berth.

Top spot appears to be a three-way battle between two-time reigning premier St Joseph’s, Colac and Newtown & Chilwell, with Leopold – which meets Joeys this week – still a chance to snatch third spot from the Eagles.

Bell Park is a game clear of South Barwon and St Mary’s, but the Dragons percentage is inferior to both the Swans and Saints.

Consecutive wins mean Grovedale is a mathematical chance of sneaking fifth spot.

But with Bell Park favourite to beat St Albans this week, the Tigers dreams of a fairytale sendoff for coach Simon Riddoch will likely end on Saturday.

1st – St Joseph’s (12-2, 212.38%)

Leopold (h)

Lara (a)

Colac (h)

Geelong West (a)

Consecutive losses to Colac and St Mary’s had some wondering if the hunger to win a hat-trick of premierships for the first time in club history was there for St Joseph’s. However, with Newtown & Chilwell’s recent slipups, including against Joeys in Round 12, Paul Carson’s men are now well-positioned for a crack at becoming just the third GFL club to win three consecutive flags. The Round 17 clash with Colac may determine who takes the direct route to the second semi-final.

2nd – Colac (12-2 173.63%)

South Barwon (h)

North Shore (h)

St Joseph’s (a)

Grovedale (a)

With the double-chance as good as locked away following nine consecutive wins, Colac could have the chance to claim the minor premiership for the first time since joining the GFL in 2001 if it can beat St Joseph’s in what looms as a blockbuster Round 17 clash at Drew Oval.

3rd – Newtown & Chilwell (11-2-1, 188.98%)

St Mary’s (h)

St Albans (a)

Bell Park (h)

South Barwon (h)

After starting the season unbeaten until Round 12, consecutive losses to fellow premiership contenders St Joseph’s and Colac (by 95 points) has Newtown & Chilwell at risk of missing out on the double-chance if it can’t win at least of its final four matches. Among their opponents are elimination final hopefuls St Mary’s, Bell Park and South Barwon, while St Albans won’t be a pushover for the Eagles, who will play finals for the first time since 2015.

4th – Leopold (10-3-1, 167.94%)

St Joseph’s (a)

Grovedale (a)

Lara (h)

St Mary’s (h)

Leopold has quietly returned to something resembling full-strength since the bye and is riding a four-game winning streak that has it in double-chance calculations. However, the Lions face ladder leader St Joseph’s on Saturday in a clash they just have to win if they are to start their finals campaign from a qualifying final. If they can’t get over Joeys, and Newtown & Chilwell sees off St Mary’s, Leopold would be two games and percentage behind the Eagles with three rounds to play.

5th – Bell Park (9-5, 118.44%)

St Albans (h)

Geelong West (h)

Newtown & Chilwell (a)

North Shore (h)

Last week’s win over South Barwon and a favourable draw have Bell Park in the box seat to claim fifth spot. The Dragons have lower-ranked St Albans, Geelong West and North Shore as opponents in August, with a clash against Newtown & Chilwell the only real concern.

6th – South Barwon (8-6, 136.27%)

Colac (a)

St Mary’s (h)

North Shore (a)

Newtown & Chilwell (a)

In a season that promised so much, the injury-hit South Barwon can’t afford a slip-up over the next four weeks. The Swans would be hoping to upset Colac this week to turn the following week’s clash with St Mary’s into a virtual elimination final.

7th – St Mary’s (8-6, 126.98%)

Newtown & Chilwell (a)

South Barwon (a)

Grovedale (h)

Leopold (a)

St Mary’s slow start to the season looks like it has caught up with them. There is nothing to say the Saints can’t win out and get to 12 victories. However, they would need Bell Park to lose to Newtown & Chilwell and be upset by one of St Albans, Geelong West or North Shore, with the Dragons likely to pick up some percentage over the next four weeks.

8th – Grovedale (5-9, 82.43%)

Geelong West (a)

Leopold (h)

St Mary’s (a)

Colac (h)

We have included Grovedale to cover our backsides. If the Tigers were to win all four games, have Bell Park, South Barwon and St Mary’s go winless through the last month, and make up the percentage, Simon Riddoch’s men would have earned an unlikely finals berth.