NEW City star Mitch O’Brien has branded the club’s weekend clash with ladder leader Dederang as one of the most important of the season.
The former Provincial sides will battle this weekend and O’Brien, who has made no secret of the Phoenix’s desire to return to the top level of Border cricket, said the result would be crucial if they went up next season.
“Oh definitely,” he said.
“That’s been our aim all year.
“We want to finish in that top two and worry about the rest in finals.
“But I’d say it’s close to one of the most important games.
“They’re on top and we’re third.
“They’d be favourites but it should be a good test.”
O’Brien said the Phoenix was keen to bounce back from its last round loss to Yackandandah.
New City fell 25 runs short of the Roos more-than-gettable total of 187 a fortnight ago.
O’Brien, who made 21 in the defeat, said the Phoenix needed to lift in the batting department this weekend.
“It was a bit of a slip-up,” O’Brien confessed.
“We had a few guys get a start and not go on with it.
“We’ll need at least a couple to go on with it here.
“We need to put in a good performance with the bat.
“Our bowling has been solid all year.”
All District matches this weekend will be played over two days.
But O’Brien didn’t expect the congested weekend — thanks to Cricket Albury-Wodonga’s SCG Cup tilt last Sunday — to affect the contest.
“It should be a good thing, if anything,” he said.
“It should keep everyone switched on.
“I don’t think it will affect people too much.
“Most of the guys would have done it before.”
O’Brien said Dederang skipper Andrew Creamer loomed as the main threat to the Phoenix’s hopes of victory.
“He’s always been a dangerous bat,” O’Brien said.
“It’s probably fair to say they’ve got a few other guys who fly under the radar.”