Magpies in local derby with Lions to kick start the season 

THE stage is set for another blockbuster start to the upcoming VB South Coast Group 7 2014 season, with some outstanding local derby matches on the program.

The new 20-round format, which has been bought about by the return of Shellharbour City Sharks from the Illawarra league, will see teams play 18 games and have two byes during the season, which will start on March 29-30.

Perhaps the highlight of the opening round will be at Cec Glenholmes Oval where the Shellharbour Sharks make their return to the competition when they travel to Cec Glenholmes Oval to take on the Gorillas in the annual Jarrod Morgan Shield clash on Sunday, March 30.

The match, which could possibly be the round’s only Sunday game, will pit two of the area’s fiercest rivals, which for the last four seasons has been in the form of a pre-season trial, but with two competition points and early-season bragging rights on the line, is sure be one of the season’s highlights.

Premiers Gerringong Lions will be at home to Berry Magpies as both sides try to kick-start their season, while last season’s big improvers Jamberoo Superoos will host Kiama Knights at Kevin Walsh Oval, with both matches scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Port Kembla Blacks will start their second season in the competition with an evening trip to Centenary Field to take on Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles, with both sides looking to better last season’s disappointing results, while one of last season’s glamour teams, Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs, will be trying to overcome the disappointment of an elimination semi-final departure last season with a home game against Batemans Bay, also on Saturday night.

The Nowra-Bomaderry Jets have the first round bye.

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