LAST season’s grand finalists, Spring Gully and United, will renew their rivalry when round six of the Emu Valley Cricket Association season starts on Saturday.
When they last met the Tigers were 143-run winners in last summer’s grand final.
Both teams enter this clash at Spring Gully having each won two games.
The Crows have beaten Maiden Gully and Marong in their past two games, with last week’s victory over the Gully featuring a pair of half-centuries to Jesse Marciano (63) and Joel Bish (60).
Despite winning its past two games, United has been far from its best with the bat its those two wins in which it has answered Emu Creek’s 141 with 142, while the Tigers had lost seven wickets before hauling in West Bendigo’s 157, which became an outright win.
It’s a positive sign for the Tigers that despite not yet having a settled line-up and still plenty of upside in their batting, they are in third position, which includes already having had a bye.
Last time: United 9-228 def Spring Gully 85 (grand final).
• Mandurang and Maiden Gully enter their clash at Pearce Reserve with a pair of 2-2 records.
The Rangas last week bounced back from back-to-back losses with a win over Emu Creek, which featured a timely return to form with the bat for Cain Ladiges.
Having made just two runs in his first three hits, Ladiges was back in fine touch with a knock of 83.
Maiden Gully skipper Leon Beatty has now compiled three-consecutive scores above 50, with last week’s 72 in a loss to Spring Gully following on from unbeaten innings of 54 and 101.
Last time: Maiden Gully 9-289 dr Mandurang 0-0.
• Golden Gully will start red-hot favourites to improve to 5-0 when it takes on Marong at Marong.
The Cobras are coming off an outright win over West Bendigo that moved them 25 points clear at the top of the ladder and no doubt will be keen to capitalise against a Marong bowling line-up that last Sunday got smacked for 424 runs by Sedgwick.
Prediction: Golden Gully.
Last time: Marong 222 dr Golden Gully 1-15.
• Having already lost two of its games outright, and the other two by a combined 386 runs, West Bendigo must now confront the undefeated Sedgwick at Club Court.
The Rams are coming off a massive score of 6-424 against Marong, which featured an unbeaten 233 from Rick Ladson, which has created plenty of headlines outside the region given his status as a Hawthorn AFL premiership player.
The Rams now have Ladson (294) and Andrew Sheahan (246) with a combined 540 runs – West Bendigo as a whole has made just 527 runs in its four first innings.
Last time: Sedgwick 140 dr West Bendigo 0-59.
• EVCA ladder:
Golden Gully – 77.2
Sedgwick – 52.0
United – 47.8
Mandurang – 43.8
Maiden Gully – 42.2
Spring Gully – 38.1
Marong – 23.9
Emu Creek – 15.6
West Bendigo – 14.7