Crunch time for finals aspirants

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Royals are one of four clubs in a fight to secure a finals place.
Camera IconRoyals are one of four clubs in a fight to secure a finals place. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Four clubs face season-defining matches in the Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition with two key fixtures set to drastically shape the top four this Saturday.

Royals’ season will go on the line against rivals North County, who can almost guarantee their finals place with a fourth straight win.

With only two matches remaining due to a bye in the final round, the Lions need to win to keep their finals dream alive.

They are sitting fifth — one point adrift of fourth-placed Mt Barker.

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The corresponding fixture last season saw tempers flare late and following the match with higher stakes on the line this Saturday.

A win to the Bulldogs would almost certainly guarantee their position in the finals but a loss will leave Neil Ferreira’s side vulnerable, with encounters with Railways and Denmark to come, but they can edge into the top two with a win this Saturday

Second-placed Manypeaks, who have lost their past two matches, face the prospect of missing the finals if they cannot conjure a win in their final three matches, starting with Mt Barker.

After the bye last weekend, the Bulls dropped to fourth in the standings, an even win behind the third-placed Bulldogs.

The return of speedster Jacob Wintle and the form with the bat of captain Jeremy Wood, coming off a century a fortnight ago, gives the Bulls plenty of optimism they can make a significant impact in the finals.

Despite a win over lowly Denmark last Saturday, Collingwood Park — six points adrift of the top four — appear to have left their run too late. They face the Tigers this Saturday at turf north.

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