Bulldogs into sixth, but for how long?

On the run: Jason Christou was among Merrigum’s best players in his side’s sixth win of the season on Saturday at Longwood.

Merrigum’s sixth win of the Kyabram District League season has it poised to strike on the top four — and the double chance — if it can overcome a tough draw in the final seven weeks of the year.

The Bulldogs kicked 26 goals on Saturday from 44 scoring shots as they secured a 164-point win against bottom-of-the-ladder side Longwood. The final score was 26.18 (174) to 1.4 (10).

Merrigum is sixth on the ladder from its nine games, a game clear of Lancaster and only one win behind fourth-ranked Stanhope.

The run to the finals is a tough one for the Bulldogs, however, facing off against the top four teams on the ladder: second-ranked Shepparton East (this weekend, in round 10), top-of-the-ladder and unbeaten Avenel (round 11), Murchison-Toolamba (third, in round 13) and Stanhope (fourth) the very next week.

In another quirk of the draw they face off against Murchison-Toolamba again in the final home-and-away round of the season.

Realistically, and with current form, the Bulldogs could expect to win just two of their final seven games. That may not be enough to get them into the final eight.

Lancaster has a much easier draw than the Bulldogs and is one spot behind their neighbour, while Girgarre also has a more comfortable end to its season.

The Bulldogs will know exactly where they sit after the coming two weekends of football, hoping that the form of Jack Sinclair (best-on-ground and with three goals to his credit), Rohan Hearn and Ryan Martin (four goals from the midfield) continues.

Nathan Smith also kicked four goals in the win, while goal-sneak Joshua Catalano made the most of his opportunities and kicked three majors.