SEDGWICK keeping alive its chance of winning a fairytale first premiership in its centenary season, or Emu Creek reaching the grand final in its return to division one?
They are the stakes this weekend when Sedgwick hosts Emu Creek in an Emu Valley Cricket Association semi-final at Club Court.
The Emus were without a division one side last season, but a strong recruiting drive has reaped rewards with an immediate return to the finals to take on the Rams.
Sedgwick and Emu Creek are coming off a meeting last round - a comprehensive 152-run win for the Emus that cost the Rams top spot.
"We've got a lot of respect for Sedgwick having been such a strong team in the competition for so long," Emu Creek captain Todd Brown said on Friday.
"We know it's going to be an extremely tough challenge this weekend, but the whole club is really up and about and looking forward to giving it our best crack."
Emu Creek has both opener Shane Hamilton (100) and star Jeremy Brown (121) coming off centuries, which were the backbone of the Emus' 318 against the Rams.
With the ball the Emus have been superbly led by the trio of Luke Bennett (33 wickets), Anthony Collins (31) and Addy MVP leader Todd Brown (28), who have combined for 92 of Emu Creek's 147 wickets.
With last week's loss Sedgwick slipped to second spot having previously spent seven of 11 rounds on top of the ladder.
Should the Rams bounce back from their heavy defeat last weekend, a victory would propel Sedgwick into its fifth grand final in the past 11 years and keep alive its chances of a centenary season premiership.
Among the Sedgwick team this weekend is all-rounder Simon Marwood, who is a former Emu Creek stalwart, while the Rams' Daniel Chamberlain is also coming up against his former side that he captained to a premiership in 2013.
Marwood (389 runs) is second on the Rams' batting behind Greg Thomas (540), while Andrew Sheehan (331) has also ticked over the 300-mark for Sedgwick.
Sedgwick's Peter Moore (20 wickets) is a class bowler and will lead a Rams' attack that will be determined to break through much earlier than last round when Emu Creek didn't lose its first wicket until it had 133 on the board.
Round 8 - Sedgwick 109 d Emu Creek 98.
Round 12 - Emu Creek 318 d Sedgwick 166.
Selection: Emu Creek
Spring Gully v United
United will go into its semi-final against old foe Spring Gully as the underdog, but is peaking at the right time of the season.
The Tigers were staring down the barrel of a rare second season in a row out of the finals when they won just one of their first six games.
But they have since reeled off five wins in their past six games to finish fourth and earn a shot at the minor premier Crows at Spring Gully.
"Were going in positive this weekend; we've been able to gel well as a group as the season has gone on, which is a good sign," Tigers' captain Harry Whittle said.
In his first season as Tigers' captain, Whittle has been superb with the ball with 31 wickets, while his brother, Mac, has led the batting with 398 runs, which includes 98 against West Bendigo last round.
Team-mate Patrick Hartney is also in good touch with the bat with 136 last week against the Redbacks.
The big wicket for the Tigers will be that of Spring Gully dangerman Rhys Webb - the competition's top run-scorer with 729.
The Tigers will also be wary of the damage Brannon Stanford can inflict after he made 133 against United as part of the Crows' massive total of 350 in a 266-run thumping in round five.
The weekend's semi-finals get under way at 1.30pm Saturday and Sunday.
Round 5 - Spring Gully 9-350 d United 84 & 5-201.
Selection: Spring Gully
Emu Creek - Todd Brown (c), Torin Petrie, Jeremy Brown, Tyrone Downie, Luke Bennett, Shane Hamilton, Anthony Collins, Julian Lake, Jayden Donaldson, Tyson Webster, Luke Monaghan, Bradley Rowe.
Sedgwick - Rick Ladson (c), Simon Marwood, Bailey Ilsley, Greg Thomas, Alex Caldow, Peter Moore, Scott McKenzie, Andrew Sheehan, Quinton Bentley, Jordan Ilsley, Daniel Chamberlain, Justin Hancock.
Spring Gully - Alex Sutton (c), Shaun Makepeace, Rhys Webb, Joel Bish, Nick Skeen, Brannon Stanford, Lachlan Brook, Byron Perrin, Liam Pilcher, Saheed Akolade, James Fox.
United - Harry Whittle (c), Dooley Niemann, Joe Hartney, Patrick Hartney, James Smith, Jacob Piccoli, Xavier Walsh, Mac Whittle, Ben Manning, Liam Nihill, Rob Gilchrist, Troy Young.
Mandurang v United - at Mandurang
Sedgwick v Axe Creek - at Tannery Lane
DIVISION 3, SECT 1
Emu Creek v Strathfieldsaye - at J.G. Edwards Oval
Mia Mia v Maiden Gully - at Mia Mia
DIVISION 3, SECT 2
West Bendigo v Maiden Gully Colts - at Ken Wust Oval
Sedgwick v Marong - at Ewing Park
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