Race for a spot is hot
WITH ONLY five rounds remaining in the Goulburn Murray Cricket normal season, it is still anyone’s guess which side will go into the semi-finals on top.
Kyabram Fire Brigade, Tongala and Rochester sit one, two and three respectively on the GMC A grade ladder — all on 72 points, only separated by quotient in which Fire Brigade is a small margin ahead.
Hot on the heels of the top three, Echuca sits just six points back in the last semi-finals spot — a full game ahead of Bamawm Lockington United (fifth) and Moama (sixth).
Which makes the weekend’s return of play all the more interesting.
An underwhelming Cooma side host the second-highest run scoring team, Tongala, at Cooma Recreation Reserve in a one-dayer the Blues should be targeting to gain maximum points.
High-flying Fire Brigade host finals hopefuls Moama at Northern Oval, looking to continue their hot streak of four rounds unbeaten.
Victoria Park sees the bottle green Echuca host local rivals BLUCC in what could be a deciding game for that fourth and final knockout spot.
Both sides will be looking to regain form of old in the match, coming off rough results before the Christmas break.
Echuca lost agonisingly to neighbours Rochester on December 22 — going down to the final over having set Rochy 115 to chase.
And with just six balls remaining, and nine wickets down, the tail-ending partnership of Myles Wade (7 not out) and Liam Ringin (16 not out), Rochy reached their target to win the match.
For BLUCC, the club can go in to the game knowing they won easily at home against Cooma, but that this round will be far more challenging.
That leaves third-placed Rochester to take on cellar dwellers Echuca South, a side which has won just once this GMC season.
Following the returning weekend’s action, round 11 is set to be potentially season defining across two days of play.
All top four sides play each other as Rochester is set to host Tongala, and Fire Brigade will travel to Victoria Park to play Echuca.
SHOT MAKER: Echuca’s Ben Fulford created 35 with the bat, but it wasn't enough to save his side from defeat at the hands of Rochester.