ESKDALE will take the positives out of its first loss of the season into today’s top of the table clash with Yackandandah.
The boys from the Mitta Valley were beaten on first innings by a rapidly improving Howlong, but then knocked over the Spiders for 55 to set up an unlikely second innings victory.
Eskdale ended at 3-58 chasing 80 off eight overs as Howlong protected the boundaries.
Captain Jamie Baude said his team would take the confidence from its second innings revival into the clash with the Roos.
“It was a game of two very different weeks,” he said.
“We were poor in the first week and really good in the second week.
“It’s that form we will need to take into the game on Saturday against an opponent that appears to have been in great form throughout the summer.
“Yackandandah is a team that will bat for 70 overs and then come out hard with the ball.
“We are expecting a tough game and you want this at this time of the year — you want to be playing the top sides, playing good cricket.”
Kiewa is another team facing a season-defining clash against giant killers Howlong.
Captain Shane Streeter is hoping the emergence in recent weeks of teenager Connor Davis and Ryan de Vries will bolster a team which has already shown it is more than capable of getting 300 at its home ground.
“Connor (Davis) played the innings we always believed he was capable of with 83 last week, it was the perfect innings from an opener,” he said.
“And that followed an outstanding performance from Ryan de Vries in the previous week.
“He’s only 18 and bowled 19 overs in 40-degree heat, including one of the best short balls I’ve seen when he cleaned up Wodonga’s Clint DeBortoeli.
“We also have Jason Bartel running into form with the bat and his brother Josh having scored 40-odd and a century in his two bats this summer.
“The real positive from last week is our best three batsmen really didn’t contribute and it was the others who stood up.
“Howlong has been going all right but we will target Josh Warren-Marmo and if we can get that wicket, hopefully the rest of the batting folds around him.”