RUTHERGLEN captain Jon Shaw’s bold gamble to get his team into finals’ contention is delicately poised after a roller-coaster day of action on Saturday.
With four rounds to go, Shaw said the Redlegs needed two outright wins and two first innings victories to play in the finals.
His bid for the first of those outright wins started on Saturday when he declared Rutherglen’s first innings at 5/107 on a damp pitch at Barkly Park before holding the winless Greta to 6/77.
“To make the top four we need two outright wins,” Shaw said.
“There is no difference finishing fifth or 11th so we decided we would go for the points and forget the rest.
“Had we won the toss we would have sent them into bat but when the roles were reversed we thought initially 150 would be enough but pulled that back to 100 after the rain on Friday and the way the pitch was playing.
“At the moment with 30 to get they look to have the upper hand.
“But we have gone past the outside edge so many times and are still confident, still believe that we can bowl them out.”
Rutherglen opener Dominic Brown continued his rich vein of form with 42 for the home team.
Shaw, who has 4/25, said they would again roll the dice next Saturday.
“We have to,” he said.
“If we are in front or just behind we will try to get a score and set a target for Greta.
“We will certainly give them a chance of chasing outright points themselves and see whether they are prepared to have a go too.”
Another finals battle is evenly poised, with Myrtleford at 3/57 chasing Corowa’s 137.
The third-placed Saints would go close to locking down a spot in the top four if they were to get the remaining runs, with captain Hayden Murray (4) and Jayden Vescio (0) at the crease when play resumes at McNamara Reserve next Saturday.
Another captain, Yarrawonga-Mulwala’s Lee Fraser, was instrumental in helping his team to a competitive 189 at home against Rovers.
Lee made 63 for the ladder leaders, including eight fours, as the Lakers looked to erase the memories of their first loss of the year to City Colts in their previous game.