Cricket's top spot up for grabs

GCA - Top spot is the jewel in the crown for cricket teams when the all important finals series comes around and the quest for this spot could make for an interesting final round of home and away matches in the A grade division of the Grampians Cricket Association, which start tomorrow.

With one round to play Tatyoon hold down the number one ranking, with Swifts/Great Western just four points adrift.

For this to change the Combine would need to pick up an outright win in the final round and hope that Tatyoon don't do likewise.

Form suggests both Swifts/Great Western and Tatyoon will win their final round encounters, but it will be the Combine who face the toughest test when they line up against the third team Aradale.

Aradale, like the Combine will be looking for a big finish to the season in this two day encounter. They will want to go into the finals series with a strong performance behind them as they are likely to line up against Swifts/Great Western again in the semi final.

Young paceman John Butler will be the key for Aradale and with support from Brent Tate, Jamie Dowling and Matt Baldock will be out to make things difficult for the Combine batsmen.

The Combine boast a lot of depth in their batting line up and will need a big first innings score if they hope to gain the maximum points.

Openers Sam Cocks and James Devery, the Association's top run getter Travis Nicholson, Jackson Dark, Rick Peters, Nick Clough and Gary Ranton are capable batsmen who can register this big score.

With the bat Aradale's Mitch Wood, Travis Horvatek, Tyler Cronin, Matt Stasse and Brent Tate will need to be at their best when looking to score runs against the Swifts/Great Western bowling attack led by Jamie Bach, Jackson Dark, Tom Eckel and Tom McCord.

It will take a mighty effort from the Combine to get away with the outright points in this round.

Tatyoon will face up to the fourth team Buangor, in what could be a preview to a semi final clash.

In what cricket has been played since the break, Buangor have been far from impressive although they do boast a win against Tatyoon earlier in the season.

It will take a major turnaround in form for Buangor to force another upset result, in fact Buangor will need to hang on for dear life to avoid outright defeat if Tatyoon are on their game.

Key players for Tatyoon in this clash will be captain Ash Maconachie, Jarrod Blandford, Lachlan Laidlaw, Jake Williamson, Tim McDougall and Andrew Ward.

Buangor will need Harry Ganley, Chris Jerram, Tyson Carr, Ben Hargreaves, Martin Jarrett and Jack Fraser all performing at their best if they are to counter the force of Tatyoon with both the bat and ball.

At the other end of the scale Pomonal and Youth Club will be battling it out for wooden spoon honours and possible relegation in season 2014/15.

Youth Club do occupy the bottom spot at present and the only way for them to hand this over to Pomonal is to win this final home and away clash.

The only win Youth Club have managed this season was against Pomonal in a two day clash prior to the break.

Lee and Rick Oliver, Jon Pollock, Lachie Green and Lyndon Brown will be out to see that Pomonal wins this clash and avoid the wooden spoon, while Youth Club will be relying on Jamie Solyom.

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