Tatura is well within its means to play in the Haisman Shield finals this season, but nevertheless the gap between Tim Kelly’s men and tomorrow’s opposition remains wide.
Numurkah hosts Tatura with the Blues keen to continue on the way they have been heading this season.
The only blight on their summer has been a loss to competition leader Katandra.
But while Numurkah has used the first half of the season to set up its year and allow it to have a spot in the finals secured, each match is significant for Tatura.
As Tatura occupies seventh spot on the ladder, just three points away from stepping into the top six, the run home looks to be kind.
Aside from a challenging match against Kyabram in the final round of the home-and-away season, two sides that also occupy spots in the bottom four will await.
Kelly will be looking for his batsmen to stand up against Numurkah’s stirling attack headed by Tim Braybon and captain Liam Gledhill.
The pair can single-handedly destroy an innings and has combined for 27 wickets this season, including Braybon’s figures of 5-18 when he destroyed Kyabram in round 7.
A saving grace for Tatura could be temperatures above 40°C that render the pace attack less effective than normal. But Kelly will back his men in to at a minimum see out their 80 overs.
To send Tatura into the Christmas break with a win, Connor Hayes spent 210 minutes in the middle of Howley Oval for his outstanding 131 runs.
In the same match against Shepparton United he was well aided by Mathew Cornwall, who faced 104 balls, while Jess Petherick and Jayden Armstrong showed there is plenty of fight in Tatura’s tail.
But Numurkah will not allow Tatura the same leeway United afforded, with the Blues competent in the field and more consistent with the ball.