Park push for finals berth

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Collingwood Park can continue a remarkable season turnaround and secure their place in the Albany Cricket Association A-grade finals if they can topple second-placed Manypeaks on Saturday.

After fighting for fourth spot in the past fortnight with Denmark, the in-form team of the competition will search for their sixth straight win in the penultimate round, which would ultimately secure their place in the upcoming finals series.

Park lost their first four matches of the season and fell to a 1-6 record before the turnaround, which captain Tim Pyle credits to his bowling unit.

Unheralded off-spinner Ricky Weight and former Royals seamer Ben Carter have formed an unlikely opening combination with pace off the ball proving to be an effective tactic.

Carter has only taken eight wickets in the one-day competition but has been miserly at only two runs per over during the winning streak while Weight has only also gone at only two runs per over and snared eight wickets.

“It has definitely been our bowling and fielding since country week,” he said.

“We have given Ben Grey the old ball and he has been incredible and Weight and Carter have been getting through 20 overs for only 40 runs and putting a few blokes back in the shed.”

Despite opener Nathan Dovey amassing 734 at an average of 91 with four centuries to his name, Pyle said his batsmen needed to find a way to post a winning score.

Their 110 proved enough against Mt Barker last Saturday, with the bonus-point win putting them in the box seat the reach the finals.

“Our confidence is building but we’re still not making enough runs,” Pyle said.

“We would be disappointed if we missed finals now after we did all the hard work to get back into it. We are buzzing, it’s amazing what you are able to do when you start winning.”

With the bye on Saturday, the fifth-placed Magpies will be hoping Peaks can continue their push for a top-two spot.

Currently nine points adrift of Park, North County will need to defeat the Bulls at Turf West to stay alive this season.

County would need to win their remaining two matches against the Bulls and Railways to remain in contention and hope Park falter in the final two rounds.

Railways take on Royals in the remaining match at the unpredictable Turf East.

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