Race for a spot is hot

The Riverine Herald - - SPORT - By Fraser Walker-Pearce

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.

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