GOLDEN GULLY v UNITED - California Gully Oval
GOLDEN Gully captain Brendon Lummis is optimistic about his side's chances of causing an upset in the Emu Valley Cricket Association when the Cobras host United.
Golden Gully and United will meet at California Gully Oval in round two of the EVCA starting Saturday.
Both sides were victorious last week. Golden Gully opened its season with a 60-run win over Maiden Gully, while United defeated West Bendigo by 11 runs in a high-scoring contest.
Golden Gully has struggled against United in recent years, but Lummis believes the Cobras have what it takes to challenge the Tigers.
"We're missing five or six this week, but we've been able to replace them with some handy players, so I think we'll be able to go alright," said Lummis, who made 64 last week.
"I reckon we're more than capable of causing an upset."
Lummis believes one of the keys to his side's chances of an upset is the Cobras' strike bowlers in recruit Cameron Moore and Shaun O'Shea.
"We got Cameron from Wandella. He's a fantastic bowler," Lummis said.
"He bowls with good pace, line and length, so he has been a really good pick-up for us."
Moore began the season with 1-17 off eight overs.
Moore and O'Shea will have a big job against the talented United batting line-up, which had opener Tim Elliott (86) and captain Forbes Klemm (54) both make half-centuries in last week's score of 8-287 against West Bendigo.
MAIDEN GULLY v SPRING GULLY - Evoloution Oval
MAIDEN GULLY – last season’s wooden-spooners were unable to get off to a winning start last week when beaten by Golden Gully.
The top-order will need to show some major improvement this game if they’re to topple Spring Gully and post their first win of the season.
Maiden Gully’s top-four batsmen - Simon Cole (1), captain Brendan Pearce (2), Rob Brown (4) and Alex Gorrie (7) - combined for just 14 runs last week.
Perhaps Brett Haw should be elevated up the order.
He made 53 last week batting at No.8 in a top performance.
SPRING GULLY – the Crows also battled with the bat last week.
They were bowled out for just 106 – the lowest score of any side in round one – with only three players reaching double figures.
However, in what’s a massive boost for the Crows’ chances of bouncing back from last week’s defeat to Axe Creek is the naming of Shaun Makepeace.
Makepeace is one of the premier batsmen in the EVCA, while fellow stalwart Andrew Curran is also capable of blasting opposition attacks.
MANDURANG v SEDGWICK - Pearce Reserve
MANDURANG – the Rangas haven’t lost too many games in recent years, but they were beaten in last week’s season-opener.
They went down to Emu Creek in the grand final rematch by eight runs.
The Rangas had plenty of contributors with the bat, but couldn’t get one of their big gun players to push on with a big score.
They had five players make at least 23 runs, with Michael Healy top-scoring with 49.
You’d expect the Rangas to bounce back at home and be too strong for Sedgwick.
SEDGWICK – the Rams are also chasing their first win of the season after suffering an 18-run loss to Marong last Saturday.
The bowlers did a reasonable job to restrict the Panthers to 9-165, but the batsmen couldn’t finish the job, with the Rams restricted to 7-147.
Veteran Scott McKenzie, who is playing for another season after announcing his retirement two years ago, made a stellar start.
He top-scored for the Rams with 56 batting at No.4, while he took an economical 2-9 off eight overs.
MARONG v WEST BENDIGO - Marong Links Oval
MARONG – the Panthers will be gunning for a 2-0 start to the season when they are at home to West Bendigo in one of the games of the round.
Marong opened its season in solid style last week with an 18-run victory over Sedgwick when it successfully defended its score of 9-165.
They didn’t have any player score more than 27, but got enough contributions throughout the order to produce a match-winning total.
Duane Anderson (3-33) was the pick of the bowlers last week, but hasn’t been named for this game.
WEST BENDIGO – the Redbacks were stiff last week against United.
They scored 7-276 off their 40 overs against the Tigers, but it wasn’t enough after United had made 8-287 batting first.
Coach Matt Dwyer (73) and Ken Bell (78) will be aiming to pick up from where they left off last game with the bat.
With the ball, captain Dion Prange (3-47) began the season with three wickets.
This should be a competitive game like their last clash against Marong.
EMU CREEK v AXE CREEK - JG Edwards Oval
EMU CREEK – the Emus’ premiership defence started in style last week, defeating Mandurang by eight runs in the grand final rematch.
Adding to the win was the fact the Emus were missing a chunk of their first XI.
The Emus have a few back this round, including opening bowler Anthony Collins, Brad Rowe and Tim Croke, which strengthens the side.
Tim Hobbs (65) began his season with a strong first innings, while Shane Hamilton (32) and Simon Marwood (31) also helped the Emus compile a winning score last week.
AXE CREEK – the Cowboys will be buoyed after positing a win over Spring Gully last week in their first hit-out.
However, they face the EVCA’s ultimate challenge this round in taking on the defending premiers on their home ground.
Daniel Saaghy (3-13) starred with the ball for the Cowboys last week, but they don’t have him this round in what’s a blow to the attack.
Captain Travis Nolan led the side well with the bat last week with his unbeaten 43. Will take a complete team effort to knock over the Emus.