Mooroopna can strengthen its position in the Haisman Shield top six if it can defend 206 against Central Park-St Brendan’s tomorrow.
The Cats are sixth on 21 points, but if they can avoid wet weather — and a Tigers batting line-up with something to prove — Paul Marshall’s charges could put a two-and-a-half game gap between themselves and seventh place.
With only five matches remaining in the season after this weekend, it could be an almost unassailable position.
‘‘I think Deakin Reserve’s draining system is very good and Central Park will be doing everything they can to prepare a good pitch, but in the end we can’t do much about rain,’’ Marshall said.
‘‘We just have to bring our bags and be ready to play, and it’s an important game for us.
‘‘Six points at this time of the year against top opposition would not only be great for our ladder position, but for our confidence as well.’’
The Tigers bowled well on Saturday and Sunday last weekend, but will be looking to turn around a batting performance which had them slump to 86 all out in Cricket Shepparton’s one-day final against Katandra.
‘‘It’s a different beast two-day cricket compared to the one-day fixtures,’’ coach Andrew Cowen said.
‘‘We were disappointed with Sunday’s batting, but there’s certainly no feeling of brewing on it, we’re keen to move on.’’
Mark Kitto (50) combined well with Mooroopna’s tail on day one to help steer his side to a total north of 200, and Aaron DiFede (20 not out) and Jeremy Mullane (25) will be among those looking to turn form with the bat into form with the ball.
‘‘Confidence is a marvellous thing and certainly runs with the bat moves them into bowling well,’’ Marshall said.
‘‘I think Will Hale has started really well and now others are chipping in, and if we can do that with the ball it should hold us in good stead.’’
If play occurs tomorrow Brendan Scott will resume on five not out with a new partner at the crease after Connor Holland found his way to 17 before retiring not out at stumps due to Pacific School Games commitments starting this weekend.
The Tigers are 0-22 after six overs and require a further 185 runs for victory.
‘‘The game is set up nicely for either side, and if we get on I think it will be a good contest,’’ Cowen said.
‘‘We got a good little start last week and you’d certainly want to chase 180 with 10 wickets in hand on any given Saturday.’’
HAISMAN SHIELD TOP FIVE
Will Hale, Mooroopna (414 at 59.14)
Tim Kelly, Tatura (328 at 46.86)
Felix Odell, Old Students (297 at 42.43)
Rehan Bari, Shepparton United (281 at 35.13)
Jedd Wright, Katandra (256 at 32)
Brendan Scott, Central Park-St Brendan’s (18 at 9.5)
Mark Nolan, Northerners (18 at 11.44)
Tim Braybon, Numurkah (14 at 10.93)
Corey Hickford, Katandra (14 at 14.14)
Shaun Downie, Numurkah (13 at 10.31)