WITH six sides sitting on six points entering round three of Sale-Maffra cricket, victory will be at a premium as two-day cricket commences on Saturday.
Sitting second last following a disappointing effort in round one, reigning premier Stratford will aim to defeat a young Collegians side in order to climb back into the top four.
Stratford bounced back with a comfortable win over Bundalaguah last week, with Taylor Tatterson’s five-wicket haul instrumental in setting up the win, and the Redbacks will look to continue that form as they aim to climb back up the ladder.
Collegians enter the match in winning form, accounting for Sale City last week to sit third.
While the Redbacks will present a sterner test, Collegians will be pleased with the form of Jayden Allison while other promising youngsters Mitch Thacker, Elliott Durrant and Kerrod Macgregor-Davies showed glimpses of what they are capable of.
Another big effort with both bat and ball will be required to compete with the reigning premier.
MAFFRA will also aim to climb back into the top four when it hosts Sale City.
The Eagles have been competitive and weren’t too far off the mark in round one, going down to ladder leaders Rosedale-Kilmany, before getting the job done in a thrilling high scoring encounter against Sale.
Adding English import Jake Benfield to the mix, Maffra still boasts a strong batting line-up and bowling attack. The Eagles will be confident of getting the job done against the Lizards, who have been struggling for batting form.
Managing just 86 and 87 in its opening one day matches, the Lizards will need to find more runs to compete with the perennial finalists.
SECOND-placed Bundalaguah will face off against fourth-placed Boisdale-Briagolong, with both sides aiming to bounce back form round two losses.
A win would further consolidate a top four position,
while a loss would mean a slip outside the top four.
Scoring an impressive win in round one, the Saints went down in a close encounter to Rosedale-Kilmany. Boosted by the inclusion of Andrew Gieschen and Heath Shingles, the Saints boast a strong line-up capable of getting the job done with both bat and ball.
Bundalaguah will look to address the collapse which cost it a chance of victory over Stratford. Ben Saxon and Nathan Massey will hope to capitalise this time around, while captain Matt Dowsett missed out last week and could be due for a score of note.
ROSEDALE-Kilmany will aim to keep its unbeaten run alive when it hosts Sale.
Facing season 2013-14 finalists Maffra and Boisdale-Briagolong to begin its season 2014-15 campaign, the Warriors passed both tests and will enter the match with confidence.
But the Warriors cannot afford to be complacent, with Sale in some good form to sit just outside the top four.
After opening the season with a win against the young Collegians side, Sale matched it with Maffra last week and will be aiming for another competitive performance against another top four fancy.