CENTRAL Gippsland’s top four sides will battle it out for their place in the pecking order for this season’s EnergyAustralia Yallourn Cup in the penultimate round.
With two rounds left before the finals, Moe has the bye in the last round, which will give it six points but no chance for bonus points.
Ten points separate first and fourth but Mirboo North has great prospects of getting outright points in the last round from Newborough Bulldogs.
Depending on results, bonus points could well dictate the final ladder standings.
Fresh from a bye last round, Mirboo North takes on ladder leaders Moe on its home turf while Morwell and Latrobe clash at Morwell Turf.
Mirboo North will get a good idea of its premiership chances after tangling with an in form Moe.
The Tigers have proved they have the bats to score 300 plus, but against the Moe attack led by Chris Johnson they will get a reality check.
However, Shane Peters, Jimmy Watson, and Brett Pedlow are in form and will test the Moe bowlers.
Sam Price has been bowling well but has not been getting too many wickets.
This has been left to Johnson and Rob Phoenix.
Moe’s batting is solid and Paul Cake and Dale Walshe have consistently given the Lions a start to build a score on.
Now that Andrew Philip has struck form the Mirboo North bowlers will need to get him early.
Liam Smit leads the Mirboo North attack and Dale Banks is always a chance to get wickets.
The local derby between Morwell and Latrobe promises to go down to the wire.
A win for Morwell would guarantee it top spot while a Latrobe victory will see it putting the pressure on for ladder supremacy.
Morwell has relied heavily on a few batsmen for scores this year but against the Bombers a few more bats showed what they are capable of.
Blake Mills has been Morwell’s most consistent bat all season and captain Craig Giddens scored a century against Newborough Bulldogs.
If Giddens gets a start he can get runs in a hurry.
Morwell’s bowling attack is not the strongest in the competition but it seems to get the job done most weeks.
Brendan Brincat got a few wickets against the Bombers and given the right conditions can be a damaging bowler.
Morwell needs to get a solid start against a good Latrobe attack led by Brendan Evans and Rob McKinley.
It also has Kaushik Aphale and Patrick Farrant to get wickets.
Latrobe’s top order is still a worry but the form of Aphale and Anthony Bloomfield was heartening for the Sharks when they made a CGCA record breaking partnership against Trafalgar.
There is also a possibility Kris Wells is ready to be promoted after his fine century in second grade last week.
He would give a touch of class to the top order.
A game which has no bearing on the four but is still important to both clubs is the Yallourn North and Trafalgar clash at Yallourn North.
It could be both sides’ last chance to end the year with a win and build for next season.
Rhys Holdsworth and James Blaser could be back for the Ships which would give them greater batting stability.
Josh Keyhoe has been consistent all year and was unlucky to get out in Yallourn North’s second innings after dislodging himself, hit wicket for a dozen.
Evan Sheekey had a field day with a match saving 72 and also was slick behind the stumps with five dismissals.
Shane Galea was in fine form with a 69 and if the two can reproduce that form in this match they will go a long way to winning it.
Newborough Bulldogs will welcome the bye.