By Sam Watson
ONLY two weeks are left of the Mid Gippsland Football Netball League 2021 season, and there’s still plenty to unfold before the finals series gets underway.
After 10 games, Hill End, Mirboo North, Foster, and Fish Creek have all booked their tickets to the finals, but Yinnar, Morwell East and MDU are all vying for the fifth and sixth spot.
Yinnar, which sits in fifth and one game clear of Morwell East, has an extremely tough run home.
The Magpies will face Fish Creek this week then Hill End the following week.
If they somehow manage to win one of those, a spot in the finals is theirs.
But even if they win neither, they are still a big chance of making it.
A lot of the finals outcomes will be determined by the huge match between Morwell East and MDU this weekend.
Morwell East, who are in sixth, sit one game clear of MDU and if they can defeat the Demons, the top six is set.
But if MDU pulls off a win on the road, they will be in the box seat to sneak in.
If they do manage a win, they will play Stony Creek in round 16, a game they will surely win.
And unless Morwell East upset Mirboo North in round 16, the Demons will secure their first finals berth since 2015.
Both Hill End and Mirboo North will be expecting to win their next two games and make sure they finish in the highly advantaged top two.
Clubs that finish in the top two get the first week off finals and then whoever wins when they take on each other, books a ticket straight to the grand final.
The other gets a second chance and heads to the preliminary final.
Foster and Fish Creek will be hoping Hill End or Mirboo North slip up, so they can jump into the top two.
Foster will expect to win their last two games very comfortably, but Fish Creek may be tested against Yinnar this week.
All sides will be treated to a bye before the first week of finals, so whoever wins the 1v2 semi-final will have played just one game in a month when the grand final rolls around.
* Mid Gippsland Finals Structure
The Mid Gippsland FNL are yet to officially announce their finals structure but this is what it is likely to look like.
Saturday, August 7 – 3 vs 6 (Elimination).
Sunday, August 8 – 4 vs 5 (Elimination).
Saturday, August 14 – 1 vs 2 (Qualifying)
Sunday, August 15 – Winner of 3 vs 6 plays winner of 4 vs 5 (Elimination).
Saturday, August 21 – Loser of 1 vs 2 plays winner of previous Sunday match (Preliminary).
Week 4, Grand Final
Saturday, August 28 – Winner of 1 vs 2 plays winner of preliminary final.