It will be a case of deja vu for Emmaus when they run out on to Bennettswood Reserve against Canterbury, with club stalwart Michael Davis reaching the 200 game milestone mark.
In what looms as a vital clash in the run home for the Senior Animals, the eldest of the Davis boys will notch up the milestone in near record time. Davis holds the club record for most consecutive games with 171, a feat only stopped after a shoulder injury at the end of 2017.
Current long term Committee member, and reigning Andrew McCormack Perpetual Trophy holder, Davis’ influence on the Animals is not just limited to the on field. A crucial cog in the day to day running and general existence of Emmaus St. Leo’s.
However, Davis and the other 21 of his teammates will be only satisfied with one way of celebrating the milestone, and that will be a crucial 4 points against a Canterbury side that sits just below the Animals in the Senior Top 4 by percentage.
The Seniors will be looking to exact revenge, after a listless second half saw the Cobras run away with the win on their home rectangle.
Nath Baranello is one of three omissions from the win in the Inner North last weekend, with Chook O’Connor and Reece Luehman also making way for Mick’s brother Harry, and the long awaited return of star defender Baxter Newbegin.
Reece Luehman will form part of a tinkered Reserves backline which will be looking for a better start than what happened earlier in the year, where the Reserve Cobras 3 goal jump to start the game was only pegged back with a Lachlan Gunn set shot with 40 seconds remaining.
A win for the Reserves will secure a finals berth, a first this decade. It would match an expectation set by the playing group at the start of 2019, if not short of where they expected to be. Nonetheless, the chance to lock away September football will be the first goal reached on what is the run to a greater goal.
Minimal changes have been made in the Reserves as well, however the notable inclusion is the return of Sean “Spider” Bourke in Animals colours, his first appearance since a serious internal injury kept him out before his departure for Europe.
Spider’s inclusion is only overshadowed by the return of Ollie Wines’ more talented brother Harry, who has also been on his own sojourn to the continent.
Wines and Spider form a formidable middle of the field, along with Jason Schinck and Tom Shannon.