A spot in the Haisman Shield one-day decider will go on the line tomorrow at Numurkah Showgrounds.
The Blues can sneak into second and a place in the November 26 final with a strong victory over Kyabram, but will have to rely on perennial premiers Central Park-St Brendan’s to slip up against ladder-leader Katandra.
Numurkah has only tasted defeat once this season, with its bowling playing a huge role so far in the campaign.
Three of the top five most potent bowlers in the competition hail from Numurkah’s ranks, with Shaun Downie (12 wickets at 9.33), Matt Cline (12 at 12.42) and captain Liam Gledhill (10 at 13.4) allowing the Blues to consistently dominate matches.
Tim Braybon is not far behind either, snaring nine poles at an average of 15, while Downie’s reputation as one of the best all-rounders in the Murray Valley Cricket Association has carried across to the Cricket Shepparton ranks, with the Cobram legend also hitting 170 runs at 34 across six innings.
Gledhill’s charges skittled Shepparton United for 86 last week, mowing down the total inside 30 overs, and will take plenty of confidence and momentum from the drubbing.
But the Redbacks handed the cellar-dweller an even bigger loss the week before, dismissing United for 76 and claiming victory in the 19th over.
Kyabram suffered a collapse of its own last week against the Tigers though, losing 6-27 chasing quick runs after getting bogged down throughout the innings.
Coach Glenn Hart and captain Alec Young will be hoping their troops can turn that performance around tomorrow and snare a fifth victory of the season.
Kyle Mueller (166 at 33.2) and import Eliot Callis (136 at 34) will again be crucial with the bat, while Curtis Ryan has taken 10 wickets from 51 overs bowled this season at an average of 15.7.