Two of the Haisman Shield’s top four teams from last year face each other tomorrow in round three, having not yet managed to open their 2017-18 campaign accounts.
Mooroopna fell to Northerners in the final over of their clash last weekend, and captain Paul Marshall said the signs were still good for his charges.
‘‘Obviously being 0-2 is not an ideal start to the season, so it’s pretty important to get a few victories before Christmas,’’ he said.
‘‘However, we feel we’re playing pretty good cricket. We just need to apply ourselves with the bat more and finish off games better, we’re probably lacking 10-15 per cent polish at the minute.’’
Marshall has led the way with the bat so far this season with consecutive half-centuries, but no teammate has 60 runs or more combined from two outings.
Despite taking on a Shepparton United side which is also yet to taste success, Marshall was wary.
‘‘Every side in this competition, especially in one-day cricket, is very even,’’ he said.
‘‘So something we’re really focusing on is starting well and carrying that momentum through the match.’’
The return of Aaron DiFede and Brad Boyle to the Cats’ line-up will help the side keep its head in pressure moments.
‘‘Bringing two senior cricketers back into the team will be good for us,’’ Marshall said.
‘‘We set out to make the top six at the start of the year and that aim is no different now, but it makes this game very important.’’
Damon Zampaglione has been a shining light for United so far, scoring 50 runs in his two innings.
In a team that has only managed 205 runs in two matches, that is a massive contribution from a single player.
Zampaglione’s teammates will have to find a way to graft an innings of note tomorrow in order to give United any chance of defeating the Cats on their home deck.