Nagambie to get on front foot as it faces another tough test

By Alex Mitchell

Nagambie looked the goods on its Cricket Shepparton debut, but it will find out exactly where it sits in the league’s pecking order when it battles grand finalist Numurkah in round two.

The Lakers had seemingly limped to 126 with the bat against Kyabram, but gave the Redbacks a serious coating of Mortein with the ball, knocking them over for 77.

But the challenges for the former Seymour District Cricket Association side will keep coming, in the form of a Blues side fresh from a quality win of its own.

It had seven wickets in hand when it chased down Mooroopna’s 6-176, after not producing its usual intense pressure with the ball on a pitch that offered little for the turners.

Lakers skipper Mark Nolan acknowledged there was a mountain for his side to climb, but it would be ready to combat the spinners.

‘‘It will be a big challenge this week playing Numurkah, obviously they’re one of the teams to beat this year,’’ Nolan said.

‘‘Our pitch is pretty good by all reports, the C-graders played on it last week and enjoyed it, so hopefully it suits us and not their spinners.

‘‘The three or four spinners they have are pretty handy, but we’ve got two of our own, so we face them a lot in the nets and we know we’ve got to work the ball around and keep the score moving.’’

But despite the memorable win, Nolan was fully aware his side would need a big lift with the bat this weekend if it wanted to keep the winning form.

‘‘(We will) hopefully try and get 180-odd with the bat and take a few early wickets with the ball,’’ he said.

‘‘Our ground is pretty small and the outfield’s quick, so we’ll need a few more than last week.”

Despite the lack of turn, it was the Blues’ spinners that took the wickets last weekend with four shared between Shaun Downie, Michael Eckard and Liam Gledhill.

They will look for more from their quicks, while hoping the top order can do it all again, always in control while tracking down Mooroopna’s total with three overs to spare.