CAPTAIN Mark Roberts believes Maiden Gully has the team to challenge for its first finals berth in the Emu Valley Cricket Association for five years.
Maiden Gully last played finals in 2007-08 when it was beaten by Axe Creek by 55 runs in a semi-final.
The club has since gone through a rebuilding phase, having twice finished on the bottom of the ladder over the past four years.
However, Roberts now believes the club has a group of players capable of taking Maiden Gully back to the finals.
Maiden Gully showed signs of being one of this season’s big improvers last round when it had already beaten perennial power Spring Gully by stumps on the first day of their two-day match.
“It would be a good five or six years since we last beat Spring Gully, and there have been a few outright results go against us in that time, so it was a good win by the boys,” Roberts said yesterday.
“We haven’t had the strongest bowling attack over the past few years, but we’ve got a couple of young guys in Glenn McCoomb and Brett Haw, who have been firing on all cylinders early.
“And we’ve got a new top-order batsman in Brendan Pearce, plus Craig Green, who is a bit of an old warhorse of the club, has come back.”
Green has started the season in sensational style for Maiden Gully, having scored 58 and 100 in his first two innings.
“The good thing about it is we have a genuine A grade side,” Roberts said.
“Some clubs will have A grade players mixed with some B grade players, but every one of our players is a genuine A grade player.
“We’re eyeing off the finals... there’s no doubt about that.
“We’re not just happy to win a few games here and there, because we’ve got a team that I genuinely believe can play finals.”
While the win over Spring Gully will give Maiden Gully confidence, next round will go a long way to showing just how serious a contender it can be when the side takes on top-of-the-ladder United.
“United is always a benchmark side, and they belted us when we played them last season, but with our bowling attack, we think we can give them a run.”