As one of the most successful country Victorian clubs in modern history prepares for yet another finals tilt, the rest of the competition must wonder why they even bother.
Much has been made of Central Park-St Brendans’ record recently, but the fact is the club is nigh on unstoppable.
In the Haisman Shield, if you are not a Tiger, you have been only been playing for one grand final spot for almost two decades.
The perennial premiers have made 16 of the 17 A-grade deciders since the turn of the century, a ridiculous run of form across generations of cricketers that refuses to subside.
The Tigers top the ladder once again heading into the final round and Shepparton United faces the daunting task of attempting to overcome the competition heavyweights.
‘‘We won’t be doing anything different from the last few weeks,’’ United captain Chris Rendina said.
‘‘We’ve been playing fairly well, obviously we were a bit unlucky last week, but we just need to be patient and stick to our plans.’’
United will be looking for a more rounded team performance this week after leaving most of the work to Josh Lawrence last round.
‘‘We just need to make sure we’re more patient and win more battles than they do,’’ Rendina said.
‘‘At the end of the day we were on track for a good score (5-247) and got unlucky.’’
Lawrence made 130 of his side’s 251 in a seven-run loss to Katandra, with only one team-mate able to pass 20 as United lost 5-4 to finish its innings.
However, United remains in the box seat for a home final, sitting a game ahead of fifth-placed Old Students, but will want a strong showing to build momentum heading into the climax of the season.
Meanwhile, the Tigers only need a win to secure another minor premiership.
Captain Ramadan Yze’s charges crushed Students last week to bounce back well after a shock loss to Katandra.
‘‘The boys were hurt and wanted to make a statement,’’ Yze said.
‘‘It’s always good to have a win after a poor performance and bounce back well.’’
Opener Layton McCann, after crafting a patient maiden century last week (110 from 254 deliveries), will be hoping for more of the same when he returns to Deakin Reserve tomorrow.
‘‘Our openers have been really good, so we hope they can continue that and the rest of us chip in where needed,’’ Yze said.
‘‘Everyone seems to lift when they play us, so just like any other week we have to be on the ball from the start.’’