A huge test awaits Barooga when Murray Valley Cricket Association premier division action comes to town tomorrow.
The Hawks will host rival Cobram at Barooga Recreation Reserve with plenty more than just bragging rights on the line.
Sitting fourth on the table, Barooga will need a strong showing against the undefeated Tigers with fifth-placed Nathalia ready to breathe down its neck if it slips up.
Will Lavery (2-40) and Riley Gow (2-44) battled hard with the ball against Deniliquin last round — before the latter backed it up with a team-high 37 at the crease — but the Hawks fell well short of parity against the second-ranked Rhinos.
The likes of Daniel Ellis (126 runs at 63), Jamie Stanyer (105 at 21) and Sam Leigh (104 at 26) will look to join Gow (116 at 29) among the runs tomorrow in order to facilitate their side's push towards victory.
Cobram's Wian Van Zyl once again leads all comers with the bat this season — racking up 367 runs at 73.4 — while Adam De Cicco (eight wickets at 16.25) is impressing for the Tigers with the ball.
The Purples are well-positioned to pounce if Barooga falls tomorrow, hosting winless Tocumwal at Nathalia Showgrounds.
Luke Quinn has 207 runs at 41.4 for Nathalia this campaign, with Andrew Jones (145 at 48.33) leading the way for the Bloods.
In the other fixture of the round, Cobram-Yarroweyah United travels to Memorial Park to take on the red-hot Rhinos.
Andrew Hogan (63 not out), Brad Todd (37), Boddie Arthur (33) and Dean Edge (31) were all among the runs last round for Deniliquin and will look to lead the way once more.
Kane Goldsworthy (221 runs at 36.83) has been at his usual impressive best for the combine.