Sport

Euroa and Mansfield’s GVL finals hopes on the line

By Alex Mitchell

Euroa and Mansfield will meet up at Memorial Oval tomorrow for a Loser Leaves Town match of epic proportions, with only the victor to remain a chance of breaking into the top six.

With just five games until finals, both sides enter the game 5-8 for the season and two games back from sixth-ranked Shepparton, with at least an outside chance of closing the gap.

The Magpies have won two consecutive games including a strong 27-point win against Rochester before the bye, while the Eagles snapped their five-game losing streak before the break with a 22-point win against Mooroopna.

Mansfield won by 40 points when the sides met in round three, but Euroa coach Scott Rowan felt his side had improved plenty since the early stages of the season.

"They’re a good side but obviously we’ve made a fair few changes since then," he said.

"We respect them greatly and it will take our best to beat them, we just expect a really hard contest and hope to get another win."

After Mansfield, Euroa plays Seymour, Kyabram, Tatura and Mooroopna and would give itself a genuine chance to win three of four fixtures, while the Eagles would also be confident of winning the majority of its games with Benalla, Shepparton United, Kyabram and the Shepparton Swans on the menu.

Eagles’ coach Andrew Browne found form before the bye with midfield jet Brett Mahoney also finding strong touch, kicking three goals against the Cats along with Tom Gardiner.

The Magpies welcome back captain Jacob Gleeson for the contest and retain the services of NAB League-listed talent Tom Panuccio, while Jayden and Max Gleeson both looked in great form before the break.

Rowan hoped a significant day for the club would generate a great atmosphere and help the side quickly regain its winning touch.

"There’s a really good feeling at the moment, and it’s our Past Players day, that comes at a really good time for us because we felt like we had a lot of momentum going into the Rochester game and coming out of it," he said.

"While the bye is good for the bodies, you want to keep that roll going, so I think a big crowd for Past Players day might help everyone get back to where we were.

"We’re trying to hunt down sixth but Mansfield is in the exact same position, so it’s a massive game for both of us and I think the loser either way is probably done."

Mansfield will enter the game without vital forward Jamie Sheahan, who suffered a sickening eye injury in the side’s game against Mooroopna.