Things heating up in final rounds of Albany and Districts Cricket Association A-grade competition

Calvin SimsAlbany Advertiser
Mt Barker get together after taking a wicket this season.
Camera IconMt Barker get together after taking a wicket this season. Credit: Laurie Benson

A red-hot Mt Barker will put their hopes of finishing on top of the Albany and Districts Cricket Association A-grade ladder on the line when they face Manypeaks in the penultimate round of the season on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulls have soared back into contention and remain in the hunt to finish as minor premiers and qualify directly for the grand final.

The Bulls were 14 points adrift of Park in third place last month but three huge victories since then have turned their season around.

Mt Barker's Neil Ferreira.
Camera IconMt Barker's Neil Ferreira. Credit: Laurie Benson

The reigning premiers are 11 points adrift of top side Royals but the Lions have the round 14 bye on Saturday, giving the Bulls a great chance to narrow the gap.

If the Bulls can emerge victorious in the 50-over clash with Peaks, a tantalising final-round fixture awaits between the Bulls and Lions to decide top spot.

The team that finishes atop the ladder will directly qualify for the A-grade decider on March 18, while the second and third-ranked teams square off in the preliminary final on March 11.

Collingwood Park are secure in the top three and will face either the Bulls or Lions in that elimination game.

The Bulls defeated Railways in round 12 and pushed past the Lions in a rescheduled round-five fixture before sealing a crucial win over Collingwood Park in round 13 last week.

Returning captain Jeremy Wood has played a major role in the Bulls’ resurgence, hitting half-centuries, against the Tigers and Park in rounds 12 and 13, respectively.

Patrick Butler has been a vital inclusion for Mt Barker.
Camera IconPatrick Butler has been a vital inclusion for Mt Barker. Credit: Laurie Benson

Talented all-rounder Patrick Butler has also been a key addition to the Bulls side, snaring seven wickets in three games and making some vital middle-order runs in the past fortnight.

The Bulls made a mammoth 3-254 against Park last week with Alex Fergie, Wood and Nathan Crudeli all scoring half-centuries.

Turf North will be the venue for the Bulls v Peaks showdown at 12.15pm on Saturday, while in the other round-14 fixture, Park will be out to regain some form when they face the Tigers on Turf East.

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