The stakes couldn’t be much higher for Mooroopna ahead of its round 12 clash with Shepparton United.
With two games before finals, the Cats are outside the top six and need a result in the coming two-day clash to keep their season alive.
Especially with their final game against first-placed Numurkah, a positive result this weekend is a must.
Mooroopna skipper Paul Marshall said the importance of the game wasn’t lost on his boys.
‘‘I don’t think we need to talk about it too much — we know exactly how important this game is,’’ he said.
‘‘We rock up to this one expecting nothing less than a win if we can play the way we know we can.
‘‘United is a solid side and a bit like us, as they haven’t performed as well as they would have wanted.
‘‘There’s some quality cricketers in that line-up and some good youngsters. It will be a good tussle and a good fight.’’
United tasted victory more recently than the Cats, although neither side has claimed full points since round seven.
And both were disappointing batting first last weekend in losses; United managed 126 against Katandra, while Mooroopna could muster just 93 against Northerners.
‘‘Obviously last week was disappointing, especially being a massive game where we were looking to cement finals,’’ Marshall said.
‘‘We’ve been pretty good with the ball most of the season, but we haven’t been batting in partnerships and we’ve lost wickets in clusters; that’s really hurting us.’’
United is ninth on the Haisman Shield ladder, but that didn’t dampen captain Dwain Vidler’s enthusiasm heading into the clash.
‘‘Everyone is up and about and we’re looking forward to it,’’ he said.
‘‘They’ve got some really good players; Will Hale is as good as they come and Paul Marshall is the reigning Lightfoot medallist.
‘‘They’ll be up and about, too, because they’re right on the cusp of finals.
‘‘We’ll have to weather the storm and get into the game, and if a couple of things can go our way we could pinch a result.’’