Sport

Not counting their chickens

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February 16, 2018

Northerners players are not taking anything for granted heading into the last round of the regular Haisman Shield season, despite their ladder position.

The fifth-placed Jets have a game and percentage in hand over Tatura (sixth) and Mooroopna (seventh), but know that any safety on face-value still remains an illusion until all results are finalised.

It makes the two-day clash against Shepparton United, which begins tomorrow at Princess Park, all the more important for Jets coach Steve Allen and his troops.

‘‘We’ll certainly have to be at our best,’’ Allen said.

‘‘They (Shepparton United) will have no real pressure on them at all, whereas we still have the pressure of performing well to make finals.

‘‘They have everything to win and nothing to lose, so we’ll have to play the type of cricket that we hope can win us finals matches.’’

Seamer Ryan Sidebottom has returned to Warwickshire to continue his fairytale County Cricket career, but brothers Trent (who missed the first weekend of last round) and Josh will return to the field for the Jets.

It will allow Allen to settle his line-up ahead of what he hoped was a long finals campaign.

‘‘We look forward to having the chance to atone for an average performance last game and find some consistency in our game,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s been a strange year, there hasn’t been a lot of two-day cricket, but now we’re hoping to play 80-over cricket accordingly by batting our 80 overs out and being disciplined with the ball.’’

United will be looking to finish its season on a high note after securing one victory during the campaign.

By doubling that tally in the final round though, Dwain Vidler’s side would make sure of avoiding the wooden spoon, and could rise as high as eighth on the table.

Vidler’s squad showed plenty of toughness last week to stave off an outright defeat against Mooroopna, and should take confidence in their ability to bat for an entire day from the performance.

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