Yarrawonga will look to break a seven-match losing streak to Albury on Saturday in potentially the league’s closest blockbuster since their epic 2014 grand final clash.
Albury has been largely unbeatable since then, losing only three games.
The Tigers pipped a Brendan Fevola-inspired Pigeons by seven points in the decider, but the average winning margin has been 55 since Yarrawonga’s last win in round one, 2014.
However, Albury’s shock round two loss to Wodonga by 40 points has erased the Tigers’ air of invincibility.
“Probably this year, how we’ve started the season, is the best-placed we’ve been since then (2014),” co-coach Chris Kennedy said.
“I think both clubs will look forward to the challenge, we hope it’s a massive game, we hope a massive crowd turns up, it will be great for our footy club.”
The game will be chockful of the league’s best, including the only player with AFL experience from last year in Yarrawona wizard Mark Whiley.
We hope it’s a massive game, we hope a massive crowd turns up, it will be great for our footy club.Chris Kennedy
Whiley played alongside four Albury stars in Saturday’s win over Goulburn Valley.
“This is our first real challenge so far as where sides are at with their list,” Kennedy said.
“We played an understrength Wangaratta while we had a few guys injured, so hopefully, beside Tyler Bonat, everyone is available.”
Albury isn’t quite at full strength, with doubt over Brayden O’Hara’s calf, but the visitors can’t wait to tackle the undefeated Pigeons.
“We expect it to be a really close game, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t,” Tigers’ co-coach Shaun Daly said.
And in what could be a first, the three games are all top-of-the-table.
In fact, of the 15 games played, only Albury’s seniors and Yarrawonga’s thirds have lost a match.
The match couldn’t have come at a better time as the league looks to build on the momentum from that thrilling win over GV.