WITH its place in the Gippsland Cricket League senior final secure, Sale-Maffra will be gunning for an unbeaten run when it takes on Bairnsdale at Briagolong this Sunday in the final round of home-and-away matches.
If Bairnsdale is to have any chance of pinching a place in the final, it will need to replace Traralgon in second spot, which can only be achieved by defeating the Sharks and also Leongatha recording an unlikely victory over Traralgon.
After winning the title last season, Bairnsdale has had to settle for two draws in its 2018-19 campaign, while the close loss to Traralgon in round four may prove to be a crucial blow in its hopes of progressing any further.
Ben Jones is currently averaging 65 with the bat for Sale-Maffra, and with an All Gippsland XI black cap headed his way, another strong innings in this match will be critical to his side’s chances.
Bairnsdale has posted scores of 200-plus in the majority of its matches so far this season, and will be looking to the likes of Michael Comber and Brayden McCarrey to set them on their way to not only winning, but formulating enough bonus points to overtake Traralgon.
TRARALGON will host Leongatha at Glengarry, needing nothing less than a win to guarantee itself a place in the final.
The Tornadoes have kept within touching distance of Sale-Maffra, with their only loss coming to the ladder leader when a number of its players were unavailable.
Traralgon’s Danny Revis had a big say in the last round victory over Bairnsdale, and with him currently sitting second on the competition wicket takers, teammates will be hopeful he can produce more of his best in this match.
Leongatha has been neither here nor there in 2018-19, and will be desperate to avoid the humiliation of the wooden spoon as it looks to end the GCL season on a positive note.
LATROBE Valley will host Warragul at Peter Siddle Oval in a match where both sides will be eager to dust off any cobwebs before Country Week begins on February 18.
The Wild Dogs have endured a frustrating campaign, with it appearing the side is only able to perform at either end of the scale.
A tie against Bairnsdale in round two showed their ability to compete, but was undone by back-to-back losses to Leongatha and a hammering at the hands of Sale-Maffra before Christmas.
The side will be looking to put in a better performance with the bat, as mail coming out of the Warragul camp has been a few players are getting out to balls that are not all that threatening.
Latrobe Valley got on the winners’ list in their last match against Leongatha, in what would have been a relief for many after an uninspiring start to their association with Gippsland cricket.
For the new kids on the block, it will be looking to grind out a win and finish its first season in GCL with a creditable record of two wins, two losses and a draw.
SALE-MAFFRA will play Warragul in the under 18s twenty20 final, with the winner of Sunday’s match at Drouin claiming the Cameron White Cup.
The teams qualified for the final after winning both their twenty20 matches last month.
IN the women’s one-day competition, Sale-Maffra will play its first match when it hosts Centrals at the Catholic College Oval.
Warragul will play Callignee and Traralgon South at Yarragon, while Bairnsdale will have the bye.