SALE and Boisdale-Briagolong will compete for the Geoff “Sparra” Bland Memorial Shield for the first time on Saturday.
Sale-Maffra cricket resumes following the Christmas break with a round of one-day matches.
A life member of the Boisdale-Briagolong Cricket Club, Geoff Bland passed away on January 20 last year after a battle with cancer.
Bland played for Sale before crossing to Boisdale-Briagolong in the mid 1980s.
A talented left hand batsman, Bland scored many centuries throughout his career.
Sale will be aiming to defeat the Saints to keep its breathing space inside the top four.
Coming off an impressive win over Rosedale-Kilmany, Sale will again look to its bowlers to contain a Boisdale-Briagolong side laden with talent.
The Saints are capable of matching it with the better teams if they play to their potential, and will hope for a reverse in fortunes as they aim to make a push towards the top four.
BUNDALAGUAH will aim to continue its impressive form when against Collegians at home.
Leading into the Christmas break, the Bulls comfortably accounted for Boisdale-Briagolong.
Matt Dowsett, Karl High, Ben Saxon and Adrian Burgiel helped Bundalaguah to a big total against the Saints, and the Bulls still had batting to come.
Jason Langshaw and Sam Bedggood were fresh at the crease, while Adam Cairns has opened the batting in the past.
The young Collegians attack will be up against it, and will have to bowl well.
Many Collegians batsmen have been getting starts of late, but someone may need to convert into a big score if Collegians are to compete with Bundalaguah.
MAFFRA will host Stratford, with victory important for both sides.
The Eagles will aim to keep pace with the leading pack, while the Redbacks sit six points outside the top four and will look to bridge the gap.
The Redbacks will be aware of the need to continue to defeat the teams above them, and will aim to continue their run to the top four with an upset.
With its bowling attack in form, Stratford will look to its batsmen to capitalise on their starts and go on to get a good score.
With Brett Lanigan, Josh Rurawhe and Jake Benfield all in good form, the Redbacks will need to put a big score on the board against a disciplined Eagles attack.
ROSEDALE-Kilmany will aim to bounce back when it meets Sale City at Stephenson Park.
A loss to Sale has brought Rosedale-Kilmany back to the pack, and the Warriors will aim to recapture their best form as they makes a play for a top two finish.
Bundled out for 68 in round eight, the Warriors’ batsmen will look to respond.
Putting in a competitive effort against Maffra before the Christmas break, the Lizards will aim to continue to push the top sides.