With Elders Cup action returning tomorrow after the Christmas and New Year’s break, the Commercial Colts have a chance to push for a rare finals position.
The sixth placed Colts trail the fourth-placed Lippers by three points, and fifth-placed Plains by only one point, but have a tough road ahead.
Commercial host Coolac and Adelong at The Bull Paddock turf wicket in the next two rounds, before another home game against Wyangle, followed by an away game to Tumut Plains, before finishing the season with another game on the turf wicket against Lotts.
Skipper, Aidan Thomas, said a refreshed Commercial line-up was looking forward to the task of Coolac tomorrow.
“As we are coming back, we are going to start fresh and hopefully we will continue to perform,” Thomas said.
“At the end of the competition and before the break, we all started to put some runs on the board, and hopefully we can do that against Coolac.”
Confidence isn’t an issue either, with the Colts top order performing well, and ably supported by a dangerous bowling attack that includes Thomas, alongside Tristen Beaumont, Jordan Field, Nathan Watson, Simon Smith and Elyah Dean.
“We just need to score the runs to defend, our bowlers go well,” Thomas said.
“Our team certainly has the confidence and I certainly think we can beat Coolac. We know we have the ability too.”
When asked who would need to perform to help Commercial to a win against the top of the table side, Thomas said Glenn Appleby would need to lead by example.
“Glenn Appleby has been our best player,” Thomas said.
“He is up the top of the order and scores runs nearly every game and he is a good leader in the field.”
The unbeaten Coolac will be a tough commodity for Commercial, but a turf wicket could very well even out the contest, especially if the Colts bowlers make use of their advantage.
In other round 10 fixtures, Adelong have a chance to leap frog Wyangle into second spot when they host the premiers at Adelong Showground.
Two of the competition’s form teams will have a lot to play for and it could very well be an early preview of Elders Cup semi-final action.
Golfie Lippers have a chance to keep their top four spot, when taking on the winless Family at Riverglade Oval.
Lippers are precariously placed in fourth position, and a win, accompanied by losses to an out of sorts Plains, and Commercial, will give them some breathing space and a chance to push on for finals.
Elders Cup round 10 draw
Commercial v Coolac at The Bull Paddock.
Adelong v Wyangle at Adelong Showground.
Golfie Lippers v Family at Riverglade Oval.
Lotts v Tumut Plains at Owen Vincent Oval.
Plains have Lotts to worry about
It was only four rounds ago that Tumut Plains were sitting second on the Elders Cup ladder before going down by one run in a top of the table thriller against Coolac at Tumut Plains Cricket Ground.
Since then, Plains have capitulated, losing against Coolac, Wyangle and Adelong, and worst of all, they now find themselves outside of the top four and at real risk of missing finals.
“I would definitely like to have more wins,” laughed Plainsmen captain, Stephen Gill.
“It is what it is, and if we can go back to the basics, we can start winning games like at the start of the competition.”
Tumut Plains have no shortage of talent on either side of the ball, with two of the competition’s best batsmen in Gill and Luke Armstrong, while their bowling line-up, on its day, is one of the strongest in the competition.
“Everyone’s had a good break and cleared their head and we should be able to get back to winning,” Gill said.
Lotts should realistically be an easier game for the Tumut side, with the struggling Gundagai team only boasting one win this season, but Gill was wary as his side prepared for their away trip to Owen Vincent Oval.
“We obviously need to take every game and team as they are, we don’t take anyone for granted and if we make more runs and take 10 wickets, we should win,” Gill said.
Gill admitted his side’s biggest issue of late was their inability to score runs, and while he hoped to see everyone chipping in, there was one top order batsman in particular that he wanted to see scoring.
“It would be good to see Kev Keogh get some runs, but in saying that, if everyone gets 20 or 30, we can get 180 easy, which is a good score,” Gill said.
“We don’t need to rely on one person, which has been our biggest down fall.”
In what shapes as a massive game for Plains, a win will keep them in the Elders Cup finals hunt, while a loss all but shuts the door on their hopes of lifting the trophy.