Mitta United can put one foot in the Tallangatta league finals with victory against its nearest ladder rival Rutherglen on Saturday.
The Cats prevailed in their last meeting, but the result was reversed almost a month later.
The Mountain Men were handed the points in controversial circumstances after the Cats were found to have breached the player points system in the round two clash at Eskdale.
Victory at Rutherglen will see Mitta United move two games clear of the Cats with five games to play.
However, if the hosts prevail, they will find themselves back in the top-five on percentage.
Classy midfielder Daniel Stewart could return from a hamstring tear for the Mountain Men, which has sidelined him for six games this season.
“I tore my left hamstring at the start of the season and missed a couple of games,” Stewart said.
“The game I came back I tore my right one.
“I’ve had a few over the years, probably six or seven over the career.
“They’ve normally only been three or four-weekers, but this one this was a bit more severe.
“I’ve done a bit of work on it, but as far as running goes, I haven’t done heaps.
I tore my left hamstring at the start of the season and missed a couple of games. The game I came back I tore my right one.Daniel Stewart
“Last week was my first training session and I’ll train this week and it should be right for the weekend, depending on how it pulls up from training on Thursday night.
“If it starts to tighten up I might give it another week, but it should be right.”
Stewart is wary of Rutherglen and knows the side can’t afford to write them off despite their recent drop-off in form.
“It’s going to be a tough game, they beat us last time at home,” he said.
“We were lucky to get the points with the player points system the way it was.
“They knocked us out of finals last year, so they’ve had the wood us on for the last couple of big games.”
Another huge game in the context of the season is Thurgoona’s clash with Tallangatta.
The reigning premiers are the form team of the competition and will move inside the top-three for the first time this season if they can knock off the Hoppers.
Thurgoona dropped three of its first four games, including a loss to Tallangatta in round two, but are favourites for the return fixture.
In the remaining games, Barnawartha host Wodonga Saints, Beechworth take on Wahgunyah, Dederang-Mount Beauty face Chiltern, while ladder leaders Kiewa-Sandy Creek travel to Yackandandah.
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