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KDL | Stanhope prepares for clash with Grasshoppers, Avenel out to bounce back

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Hot form: Murchison-Toolamba star forward Ashton Cashion is one player Stanhope will need to shut down this weekend. Photo by Aydin Payne

As the days wind down on the Kyabram District League season, a top-four clash headlines what shapes as an exciting weekend of action.

Murchison-Toolamba hits the road to take on Stanhope in a battle that will help to shape the top end of the ladder.

The Lions will be out to knock Murchison-Toolamba off second spot, with a loss set to possibly see Stanhope drop out of the top four.

Speaking after his side’s convincing win last weekend, Stanhope co-coach Mark Patten said his players understood the difficult task ahead of them.

“The two times I have seen them live they have been too good for us. They’ve had the wood on us for a while now and we’ve got to turn that around,” he said.

“Murch had a huge win yesterday and they have got good form.

“(Stanhope) is normally a fortress for us but it’s proven to not be as much of an advantage for us and I think it’s going to be a tight contest.

“I don’t think there’s much between the top four sides, so you’ll need to take your chances.“

Grasshoppers forward Ashton Cashion booted 10 goals last weekend and is one forward that Stanhope will need to keep a close eye on.

Gun Lions onballer Ryan Semmel, meanwhile, is coming off a standout eight-goal performance last week, so expect Murchison-Toolamba to put some time and effort into stopping his influence.

Meanwhile, Avenel is out to bounce back from its first loss of the 2022 season.

Arch-rival Nagambie was the one to knock off Avenel a fortnight ago and playing coach Kasey Duncan said it may have been what his ladder-leading outfit needed before finals.

The Swans head to Dookie to take on United in a clash the Thunder must win.

"We are going okay. We had a few resting on the day and missed a few key players, but credit to Nagambie — in the third quarter they really put the foot down on us," Duncan said.

"Lesson learnt by a few of the boys and it might have been the little kick in the butt we needed leading into finals."

Around the grounds, Shepparton East is set to welcome back a handful of talents for its important clash against Violet Town.

The Eagles have been smashed by injuries in 2022 but have been able to bring back key players Adem Barolli, Justin Davies and Dwain Vidler.

Violet Town returns to the park following its big win over Longwood.

Forward gun Jack Exell needs nine goals to reach the magical 100.

Elsewhere, Nagambie and Merrigum square off in an elimination final-like contest, while Girgarre must defeat Tallygaroopna to keep its season alive.

Lancaster is on the road against Rushworth while Undera welcomes Longwood.