A battle of the cellar-dwellers

EAST Albury skipper Joel Shepherd says there is no excuse for the Crows winless start to the season.

And he’s confident that trend will end soon.

The Crows, winless from their first eight encounters, take on fellow struggler Albury at Billson Park and Shepherd admits it is crucial his side wins to stay in touch with the rest of the pack heading into Christmas.

“It’s definitely an important game for us,” Shepherd said.

“Albury’s in a similar position to us and whatever happens, happens, but we have got to step up.

“We’ve got a young side but that’s no excuse.”

Shepherd said the Crows would field a “strongish” side this week.

He said East Albury was disappointed about last Saturday’s washout after posting a competitive score of 230 against St Patrick’s.

“We thought we had a bit of a chance to get some wickets last week so we were a bit unlucky,” Shepherd said.

“We’ll have a strongish side this week.”

The Crows captain said he could see improvement in the club’s ranks.

“We are definitely improving,” he said.

“Each week we’re getting better, which is what you want.

“Runs are the big thing.

“We need to give the bowlers something to bowl at.”

Shepherd said East Albury also needed to make the most of its chances in the field.

“We’ve been a bit unlucky at times,” he said.

“Especially with those half chances.

“Sometimes you take them, sometimes you don’t.

“They can make a big difference, though.”

The Crows received a nice surprise at training this week, with former young gun James McNeil making an appearance at training.

But Shepherd said McNeil, who is playing grade cricket in Sydney, would not line up for the Crows this afternoon.

“Obviously we would have loved that but he’s just come for a hit at training,” he said.

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