ROSEDALE-KILMANY will face another challenge this weekend, this time against ladder leader Maffra as round six of Sale-Maffra cricket is played over Saturday and Sunday.
With the aim to play finals cricket, the Warriors remain on track sitting third on the ladder, with the clash against the in-form ladder leader and reigning premier to headline what should be another competitive round of Sale-Maffra cricket.
With last year’s grand finalist in Bundalaguah inflicting Rosedale-Kilmany’s first loss last week, the Warriors will relish another opportunity to show they can match it against the top sides away from home.
Although the scoreboard shows a 90-run loss last week, there were plenty of positives to take out of the game for the Warriors.
With plenty of batsmen getting starts, several will be hoping to go on with it this week to set-up a good score. The Warriors also have a good, well-balanced bowling attack and were on track to get the job done before quality batsmen in Mike Jones and Nathan Massey took the game away from them.
Youngsters Isaac Love and Coady Mitrevski were also given opportunities and showed plenty of promise with two wickets each, which adds to the Warriors’ depth.
The Warriors, however, will be challenged by a Maffra side which already has two outright victories this season.
Bowlers Nathan Magnuson, Jon Dovey and spinner Ben Durrant all enter the contest in form after helping to dismiss Stratford twice in round five.
Josh Rurawhe has been in good touch with the bat this season and will be a key wicket, while Daniel Cameron could move up the order after showing a return to form in the Eagles second innings last week.
SALE and Stratford will meet with fourth spot on the ladder up for grabs.
The rebuilding Sale side has shown vast improvement this season, and moved in to the top four following victory over cross town rival Sale City last week.
Captain Ian Wrigglesworth remains a key to the side’s success, but would be pleased that several of his young charges have stepped up to make handy contributions this season.
Semi-finalist last season, Stratford has suffered indifferent form and will be hoping to bounce back after conceding second innings points to Maffra and dropping out of the top four.
With a good bowling attack and some very capable batsmen, Stratford makes very formidable opposition on its day and showed it has what it takes to beat any side after claiming first innings points against Maffra.
SALE CITY will host Boisdale-Briagolong with both sides looking for victory to stay in touch with the top four.
The Saints enter the contest in winning form after chasing down a total of 300 last week, and will be buoyed by the return to form of key middle order batsmen. Mick Roberts has made several starts at the top of the order, and a big score could be just around the corner.
The Lizards’ bowling attack has been in good form, and will again look to its attack to restrict the Saints to a reasonable total.
In seventh position on the ladder but just six points outside the top four, a return to form of some of Sale City’s key batsmen could see the Lizards turn their season around in an even competition.
BUNDALAGUAH will be favoured to continue its winning form when it hosts Collegians.
Big scores from Mike Jones and Nathan Massey helped Bundalaguah to a big score last week, and the home side will be hoping for more of the same against a Collegians side also coming off a big score to give it a good chance to keep pace with Maffra at the top of the table.
Captain Mark Nicholls and Jayden Allison will be key wickets for Bundalaguah following their big scores last week. While spin has been a big factor for Bundalaguah this season, Aaron Lynch returned through second grade with a five-wicket haul last week and could earn a call-up.
With bowling restrictions imposed on Collegians young bowlers, Mark and Luke Nicholls could again be called upon to bowl a lot of overs after sending down 51 overs between them last week.