Gators at home again

By Tyler Maher

It is moving day in the Big V division one men’s competition.

A quick glance at the table will tell you that although four games separate second and 10th on the ladder, it will only take one positive result — or a negative one — to reshuffle the picture.

The Shepparton Gators find themselves fifth on the tight table, one win from second place, but just a flat spot from falling back into the mid-table mire.

Collingwood makes the trip to Shepparton today ahead of a 7.30pm tip-off at Shepparton Sports Stadium and Gators coach Leigh Bathman knows how tough the task that lies ahead of his troops is.

‘‘They’re a veteran team and have been together a while, they’re tough to beat as they were earlier in the season when we played them,’’ he said.

‘‘Our record at home is pretty good (5-0) but we need to play better than we did at home last week.’’

The Gators defeated the All Stars by five points on the road at the start of the season and last week fell across the line against Latrobe City after falling behind in the contest on Saturday night.

‘‘We can’t keep getting down by 15 or 16 points, we managed to claw our way back into it, but used too much fuel and paid the price on Sunday (in a loss to Warrandyte),’’ Bathman said.

‘‘Jaxson (MacFarlane) gave us a real spark off the bench, but we need more zip from our starters — the longer the season goes on the more the workload builds though.

‘‘It was good to see Nick Dodd bounce back from a poor shooting night the week before to hit four threes including the one that put us in front.’’

Shepparton’s starters are all available for tonight’s clash, but a couple of its younger talents in Liam Dodd and Jordan Michel will face fitness tests.

‘‘There’s no excuses for us,’’ Bathman said.

‘‘We’ve just got to continue our winning form at home.

‘‘A win or a loss either way in this competition and you can move plenty of spots on the ladder.’’