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KDL | Two blockbusters greet fans after general bye

Gun talent: Luke Semmel.

Kyabram District League footy fans will be treated to two blockbusters when the season resumes this Saturday after last weekend’s general bye.

Firmly under the microscope will be the Lancaster-Stanhope stoush and the showdown between the competition’s only unbeaten sides, Shepparton East and Avenel.

Lancaster meets a surging Stanhope, which is coming off a decisive win over Girgarre in the last round and has now strung six wins together, most by decisive margins.

The Lions have been inspired by new recruits Ryan Semmel and Tom Rennie but also the work of Matt Gill, Luke Semmel and Nathan O’Reilly.

While Lancaster has dropped two its past three games to flag aspirants Murchison-Toolamba and Avenel it has been competitive in both defeats to show it is still a force to be reckoned with despite an exodus of players from last season’s undefeated side.

The Wombats have been given a boost with the recent return of classy Jake Mills while Brad Orr, Kyle Kidd and Luke Davies are enjoying consistent seasons.

Stanhope will go into the clash as favourite but knows it will have to play to its best or close to it to earn the win.

• Premiership favouritism could rest on the result of the Shepparton East-Avenel confrontation.

East has been the big improver this season after the return of many of its former players, who have made the side arguably the most experienced in the league.

But on its home turf it will not be intimidated by its talented visitors in a game that could go right to the wire.

• Girgarre, trying hard to stay in the finals reckoning, has another huge mission, taking on Nagambie, which has won three of its past four games.

The Roos are likely to give some early cheek, particularly if they get the ball to goalkicking coach Damian Cupido, but the Lakers may wear them down eventually.

• Merrigum, back on the winning list in the previous round, should give its percentage a boost against the great survivor, Longwood.

In-form players in Ryan and Jacob Martin, Jack Sinclair and Nathan Smith should ensure the Bulldogs have big win.

• Winless Rushworth is in for another long day hosting Violet Town, which has been making some statements of late and has goalkicking forwards Josh Mellington and Jack Exell as reliable targets.

The Tigers have to lift just about everywhere to post a respectable score.

• Dookie United and Murchison-Toolamba also should enjoy big wins over battling rivals.

Undera, which hosts Dookie, has shown improvement in recent games but probably not enough to test a finals aspirant that can play a good brand of footy on its day.

Another certain finalist, Murchison-Toolamba, will find Tallygaroopna easier pickings than Lancaster, against which it narrowly won in the last round.