GVBBL | round two preview

By Shepparton News

A place in the Goulburn Valley Bush Bash League grand final is likely on the line when week one's winners collide in Kyabram tomorrow.

At the Northern Oval, the SRP Mud Dogs will battle the Cobram Panel Works Panthers in the opening match of the day, with the victor to move to 2-0 for the campaign.

Both were ultra-impressive in Barooga last weekend; the Mud Dogs gave the Hurley's Hotel Hounds the business in a six-wicket win, while it was a similar story for the Panel Beaters, tracking down the Jarvis Delahey Crushers’ 6-131 with five wickets and eight balls to spare.

But the Panthers will need to find a new star batsman, with last weekend's hero James Seymour (91 not out) unavailable after being picked for Victoria's Second XI side.

The Mud Dogs have only strengthened their round one side, adding marquee Hamish Winter-Irving to the team along with Xavier Chalkley, with Cade Mueller and Liam Hocking having the day off.

The contest largely shapes as a battle of the Mud Dogs’ stacked bowling line-up against the Panthers’ wicked batsmen; the likes of Mark Nolan, Hadleigh Sirett, Joel Brett and Brendan Scott will be looking to tie down ferocious stroke players, including Wian Van Zyl, Isaac Willett, Michael Eckard and Kyle Humphrys.

Another key will be how the Panthers attack a Mud Dogs’ top order that looked as solid as a rock against the Pooches, with Layton McCann (40), Mitch Winter-Irving (19), Nolan (24) and Brett (32 not out) all firing.

With the winner moving to 2-0, it would remain possible, yet extremely unlikely, two teams could also finish the preliminary rounds with two wins and a better net run rate.

● The main event of the afternoon will see home side Hurley's Hotel Hounds tackle the Jarvis Delahey Crushers in a loser-leaves-town clash.

While both lost in round one, the Hounds were probably more impressive and showed plenty of potential, at one stage 3-109 before the loss of 4-13 mean they left plenty of runs on the table.

Jedd Wright (39) and Kyle Mueller (34) make their batting stocks strong, but the order will need a reshuffle with James Nanopoulos and Tom Donnell away on Super Slam duties.

Coach Paul Newman confirmed Gino Saracino, Brenton Campbell, Jackson McLay and Matt Hinks would all come into the side, the inclusion of McLay particularly important after the side lacked a punch with the pill.

For the Crushers, they will desperately need someone to stand up with the bat in the absence of Richard Oliver, who exits the line-up to the Super Slam after carving a ripping 80 not out.

With captain Josh McDonald and impressive quick Peter Cassidy also unavailable, at least three of the four players that missed last weekend's game - Ash Quinn, Mitch McGrath, Sam Dorsey and Luke Patel - will come in.

● The SRP Mud Dogs versus Cobram Panel Works Panthers match starts at 11 am, before the Jarvis Delahey Crushers v Hurley's Hotel Hounds game starts at 2.45 pm.