Can anyone stop the Katandra steam train?
Shepparton United certainly hopes so as it takes on the Haisman Shield’s form team tomorrow.
Chris Rendina’s side travels to Katandra Recreation Reserve for a blockbuster clash that will go a long way towards deciding the make-up of the finals series.
Whoever wins this two-day match will be right in contention for a vital top-two finish, while the loser could finish as low as fifth.
Rendina knows his team has to be prepared for the Eagles, who are riding high off smashing league powerhouse Central Park-St Brendan’s — their fifth straight win.
‘‘We’ve got big games for the rest of the season, so finals really start this week,’’ Rendina said.
‘‘We’re not thinking too far ahead because it’s definitely going to be a tough game and it’ll be a good test for us so close to finals.’’
The Eagles’ rise up the ladder has come through their batting firing on all cylinders.
Katandra posted more than 300 against the class of Central Park-St Brendan’s, while the Eagles went ballistic with 7-404 against Northerners last month.
Star batsmen Andrew Riordan and Jedd Wright are having golden summers, with the former bringing up his second century of the season against the Tigers.
‘‘They’ve scored a lot of runs between the two of them and the key right there is those two, although they do have other quality batsmen in the side,’’ Rendina said.
‘‘They’ll be key wickets and we’ve got to try and get an early breakthrough and get them out as early as possible, it’s not rocket science, but we can’t let them build partnerships in the middle order.’’
Teenage paceman Harry Tonks comes back into the side to add bowling strength, while Anthony Andronaco will be available after spending the week at Melbourne Country Week.
Rendina believed his side had been travelling well, but had areas it had to improve on heading into finals.
‘‘We’ve been good in patches, it’s just having that consistency there,’’ Rendina said.
‘‘I can’t really fault our bowling, but in our last game we should’ve really gone on with it more with the bat considering we were 2-150.’’
Rendina and Josh Lawrence have been in excellent touch with the bat, while Rehan Bari will be looking to return to the form that had him smash two centuries before Christmas.