It’s the biggest weekend of the season for Wyong Lakes – both on and off the field.
The Magpies host the fourth annual beyondblue fundraiser alongside Maitland on Saturday night after facing the Saints in a crucial Black Diamond Cup encounter at Don Small Oval.
Wyong Lakes sit eighth on the competition ladder and need to win all three of their remaining matches, starting with round 15, to have any chance of making the top-seven finals series next month.
“It’s imperative we win,” Magpies coach Michael Tos said.
“At this stage of the season we have no other choice. We’ve lost a couple of games by less than a goal and now that’s just the situation we’re in.
“We have to win every game left and hope a few other results go our way as well.”
Wyong Lakes have the bye next weekend before visiting winless Lake Macquarie and then seventh-placed Gosford in what could be, depending on the Tigers’ fortunes against contenders Terrigal Avoca, Singleton and Killarney Vale, a last-round showdown for a play-off position.
James Roach is set to make his first-grade debut for the Magpies with coach Tos trying to find a forward-line replacement for regular starter Justin McPhan, who is two thirds of the way through a six-week holiday in the US.
“We’re hoping he [Roach] can add a little something up there,” Tos said.
“It’s been a bit of problem without Justin [McPhan] there for us.”
Last time around on June 16, Wyong Lakes 6.13 (49) were beaten by Maitland 9.4 (58) in what was one of the Saints’ two victories so far this campaign.
Elsewhere in Black Diamond Cup on Saturday and fourth-placed Warners Bay are away to Killarney Vale, Lake Macquarie meet third-placed Newcastle City, Gosford battles it out with title holders Terrigal Avoca and leaders Cardiff travel to Singleton. All matches kick-off at 2pm.
In the women’s competition and GWS Giants scouts will review Saturday’s representative round-robin challenge at Medowie featuring Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast. Action starts at 11am.
Meanwhile, delegates from AFL NSW-ACT, Black Diamond Cup clubs and both the boards of AFL Hunter Coast and Black Diamond AFL are set to make up a nine-person working party to review the current junior and senior Australian rules competitions in the region.
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