Season-defining match in CGCA

Morwell and Mirboo North clash this week with both sides out to reassert themselves as a finals threat and get their Central Gippsland season back on track.

Mirboo North started the season well but has faltered in recent weeks, slipping to defeats against Latrobe and Moe.

The form of star recruit Rob Phoenix has mirrored that of his team’s and he will be keen to correct his recent form slump.

Brett Pedlow and Shane Peters have been chipping in with runs every game, but more is needed from the senior bats.

Younger players like Ben Heath and Liam Smit have also struggled this season.

For Morwell, a number of unavailable players last week meant a shock defeat to Trafalgar, although it will certainly feel it should have won regardless after being in a strong position before collapsing.

Craig Giddens and Blake Mills were the big outs and if they are still missing this week then Morwell could be in real trouble.

Riyaz Pathan has been consistently getting starts while young bats including Jesse Giardina and Glenn Bone have been tried out with limited success.

The visitors need a win here after slipping behind Moe on the ladder and will be hoping that Trafalgar can upset Moe.

Moe v Trafalgar

Moe snuck into the top four last week on the back of the bye and have the chance to cement that spot with a win over Trafalgar.

With the Lions’ opponents and also Morwell right behind it on the ladder, a convincing win here could go a long way to assuring a finals berth.

Moe has had a disastrous campaign so far but have experienced a recent upturn in form with the return of players like Paul Cake and Sam Price.

Cake lends stability to a previously brittle batting lineup while Price continues to build up to full fitness in second grade after a shoulder injury.

Trafalgar will be full of confidence after knocking off Morwell last week, but this is a much sterner test.

Rhys Holdsworth continues to carry the batting and bowling but there have been much improved signs from Chris Robinson, Aiden George and James Blaser in the former, and Jackson Noonan and David Bremner with the latter.

Latrobe v Thorpdale

Latrobe welcomes Thorpdale to the Peter Siddle Oval and with a young, inexperienced lineup, the Blues have struggled all season.

They could face their biggest challenge here as they face the top team on the ladder.

Kayne O’Connell, Boyd Bailey and Shannon and Travis Pickering have been the young guns fighting to adapt at this level, while experience from players Jason Richardson and Harvey Poole has been invaluable.

Many predicted the Blues would struggle in the long format and they can prove the doubters wrong with a good showing here.

The Sharks have turned their season around after defeats in their first two games and now sit at the top of the table.

Anthony Bloomfield and Kaushik Aphale have been invaluable by scoring the bulk of the runs, while Bloomfield has also chipped in with wickets.

Patrick Farrant’s leg-spin has proved difficult for opponents to handle, and with plenty of fast bowling options to choose from the Blues will have to be on top of their game to survive.