WANGARATTA Magpies face their toughest test of the year when they look to chase down City Colts today.
A resurgent Colts have been piling on the runs in recent rounds and racking up wins after an indifferent start to the year.
A century to Kent Braden helped them to 264 last week and a three runs an over target for the home side.
Colts also have former North Albury star Greg Daniel in good form with the ball.
He goes into the match with 18 wickets for the year and is second on the wicket-taker list.
Skipper Simon Patterson’s greatest fear is the wicket, with the mid-week rain likely to add a bit of spice to last week’s placid strip.
“With the rain they haven’t been able to roll it and it could be a bit tricky,” he said.
“But we will go there on Saturday and deal with what is in front of us.
“I’d expect that we will see plenty of Daniel and Braden with the ball.
“But our two teenage openers, Jack Davies and Rhett Mitchell, have been great for us this year and hopefully some of that confidence will carry into this game.
“We are a young side and prone to having bad days but at the same time we have been together for three years and we expect to have more good days than bad now.”
The Magpies will also welcome back Barry Grant at No.3.
A quad injury cut short the veteran’s last summer.
Grant started this season in B grade but Patterson said his form demanded a spot in the batting line-up.
“Grant comes back in — he decided at the start of the year that he didn’t want to hold any of the juniors back but his form was just too strong to ignore,” he said.
“It’s a tough ask but it’s just three and a bit runs an over.
“We talked about it at training and that doesn’t mean we have to hit a boundary every over but it is more about accumulating runs.”
Patterson said Colts’ recent form was no surprise.
“They had a few in and out at the start of the year and their form probably reflected that,” he said.
“But their side has been more settled in recent weeks and the results have followed.”