A run of three losses on the trot in the Haisman Shield has dropped Old Students from top contender, and only a game from first, to struggling to keep fifth place.
Captain Luke McPhilliamy still has hope his side can rectify the monumental slide in time to do some damage in finals.
‘‘We’ve had a really unsettled side the past few weeks, which hasn’t helped,’’ he said.
‘‘Hopefully with a few returning we can get a win and go into the finals with some confidence.’’
McPhilliamy and Tyson McKenzie will likely return to the side after missing matches through injury, bolstering the Students for the final leg of the year.
Standing in their way is Tatura, who goes into the game knowing it’s the last chance to take something out of a season that has only netted it a solitary victory, but has allowed it to blood some promising young talent.
The Students copped the full force of a Central Park-St Brendan’s side on the rebound last round, losing by 129 runs in a disappointing performance.
‘‘We handicapped ourselves last week by not taking our chances and not batting out our overs,’’ McPhilliamy said.
‘‘Obviously this week we need to take any early chances we get and bat the full overs.’’
Opener Felix Odell led the way with bat and ball, taking 2-79 and scoring 39 as his side was bundled out for 156.
For Tatura it was yet another honourable loss, digging in with the bat and striking early with the ball, but failing to complete a full two-day effort.
If the cellar dwellers are to snag an upset victory, they will need a batting beacon to make a big score and boost the confidence of their young list, and that man is certainly Tim Kelly.
With 491 runs at a healthy average of 40.9 for the year, Tatura’s captain will look to break the 500 mark for the first time in his career at Howley Oval this round, and allow his struggling club to finish the season on a high and look to the future with hope.