WITH six rounds left and a maximum of 18 points up for grabs in one of the most even seasons in memory, the championship is there for the taking. Boomers FC is in the box seat but, realistically, five clubs can win it.
The Border Mail’s Chris Mitchell looks at whether your club is still in the hunt or is fighting for a spot in the finals.
Do you agree? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
1 BOOMERS FC
Run home: Albury United, Albury City, Melrose FC, Albury Hotspurs, Myrtleford, St Patrick’s.
Comment: As a rival coach said at the weekend, the title is now Boomers’ to lose. But they do have a tough run home. Games against United, Melrose, Spurs and the Savoys could go either way. They should beat City and Patties. A win against the Savoys could secure the championship.
2 WODONGA DIAMONDS
Run home: Albury Hotspurs, Wodonga Heart, bye, Melrose FC, Albury United, Albury City.
Comment: Has a dream run home and despite slipping up at the weekend against Boomers and will fancy its chances of making up the six-point gap. It has a bye and could win all of its remaining games. The three danger matches are Spurs, Melrose and United.
3 TWIN CITY
Run home: Myrtleford, Wangaratta, Wodonga Heart, Albury United, Albury City, Albury Hotspurs.
Comment: The sleeping giant. The Wanderers should win at least four of their remaining six games, giving them around 12 more points. If they can beat Myrtleford and United, Simon Randell’s outfit will be right there at the end.
Run home: Twin City, bye, Albury City, St Patrick’s, Boomers FC, Wangaratta.
Comment: Has dropped its guard in recent weeks but can still win the championship if it wins crucial games against Twin City and Boomers. Would expect to win at least three more games. Of its remaining five, four are at home.
5 ALBURY UNITED
Run home: Boomers FC, Albury Hotspurs, St Patrick’s, Twin City, Wodonga Diamonds, Wodonga Heart.
Comment: Can beat anyone in the competition and is not out of the race. It has a tough run home but should expect to win at least three games. Needs to beat Boomers this weekend to have any chance of closing the gap.
6 ALBURY HOTSPURS
Run home: Wodonga Diamonds, Albury United, Wangaratta, Boomers FC, St Patrick’s, Twin City, Wodonga Heart (catch up).
Comment: Is a long shot to win it but it’s still mathematically possible. Has one of the toughest runs home and will start underdogs against Diamonds, United, Boomers and Twin City. Would take a miracle to win the championship but could be dangerous in the finals.
7 ST PATRICK’S
Run home: Bye, Melrose FC, Albury United, Myrtleford, Albury Hotspurs, Boomers FC.
Comment: Can’t win the championship but can have a say who does. Needs to keep winning to guarantee a finals spot. All of its remaining five games are tough and the club is in danger of missing the top eight. Needs some major upset wins to keep its position.
8 ALBURY CITY
Run home: Melrose FC, Boomers FC, Myrtleford, Wodonga Heart, Twin City, Wodonga Diamonds.
Comment: Like Patties, City’s remaining games are all tough. It should beat Heart but will be underdogs in its other five games. A win against a much-improved Melrose this week is crucial for its finals chances.
9 MELROSE FC
Run home: Albury City, St Patrick’s, Boomers FC, Wodonga Diamonds, Wangaratta, bye.
Comment: Is the best team outside the top eight and could cause carnage for the championship contenders. Twice led Myrtleford at Savoy Park at the weekend and if it keeps its form should win at least three of its remaining five games. A win against City this week will see it push level on 20 points with Ant Maw’s side.
Run home: Wodonga Heart, Twin City, Albury Hotspurs, bye, Melrose FC, Myrtleford.
Comment: Has been devastated by injury and is a long shot to make the finals. Should beat Wodonga Heart and could take points off Spurs and Melrose.
11 WODONGA HEART
Run home: Wangaratta, Wodonga Diamonds, Twin City, Albury City, bye, Albury United, Albury Hotspurs (catch up).
Comment: Has been the most improved side in the competition, by far, yet it could still finish the season without a win or a draw. Its best chance for points - apart from the three for a bye - will be against an injury-depleted Wangaratta and an inconsistent Albury City.