Cats are primed to pounce

February 03, 2017

Mooroopna president Clint Thomas believes Numurkah will be hard to beat.

There is blood in the water in the Haisman Shield, and the Cats are ready to pounce.

With perennial powerhouse Central Park-St Brendan’s stumbling last round and a fellow member of the chasing pack (Old Students) dropping a game, the pieces of the premiership puzzle may just be falling Mooroopna’s way.

Numurkah, locked in its own cutthroat battle for ladder position, stand firmly in the Cats’ path.

‘‘Numurkah will be really hard to beat,’’ Mooroopna president Clint Thomas said.

‘‘I had them in my top four at the start of the season and they’ll be fighting hard for that sixth spot.’’

The Cats are coming off a big win over Tatura where coach Paul Marshall hit an unbeaten 109 sandwiched between half centuries from captain Andrew Cowen (53) and Mark Kitto (65), but Thomas does not believe it will be the Cats’ stars that decide their fortunes.

‘‘Obviously we’ve got some guys in great form, but I think it will be the blokes at the next level that will make the difference,’’ Thomas said.

‘‘Our motivation is no doubt still focused on securing a top-two spot and we can only do that with a team effort.’’

The Cats are one game behind the top-placed Tigers, but only have a slender two-point lead over Katandra in fourth.

Numurkah has more on the line heading into the round-11 two-day match after a disappointing showing against Kyabram last round dropped it out of the top six.

The Blues remain contenders, but will need a much-improved team effort after captain Liam Gledhill put on a one-man show last week, bagging 7-84 to go with his top score of 65 in Numurkah’s total of 150.

‘‘Cricket’s a funny game,’’ Gledhill said.

‘‘We didn’t bat well enough last game, but it’s a new week and a new game and anything can happen.’’

The Blues will focus on increasing the effort from every player on the field in hopes of turning their form around.

‘‘As long as the effort is there from the boys, I’ll be happy,’’ Gledhill said.

‘‘Win or lose, if we can perform consistently for the two days it will be a good performance.’’

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