Yackandandah aiming to start climb back up the ladder against Dederang

TOUGH START: Like many of his teammates, Yackandandah's Mick Walker has yet to produce his best this season. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
TOUGH START: Like many of his teammates, Yackandandah's Mick Walker has yet to produce his best this season. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

One of the competition favourites prior to start of the season, Yackandandah finds itself wedged in the middle of the table approaching the halfway mark.

While weather has played a part in some results, incredibly, the Roos have just three wins to their name after eight rounds.

The climb back up the ladder won’t get any easier on Saturday as Yackandandah hosts league leaders Dederang.

Runs have been the biggest concern so far for the Roos with club captain Andrew Lockett leading all comers with 105 at an average of 26.25.

“It’s hard to say, it’s been a bit of a disappointing start, maybe it’s a bit of complacency,” Lockett said.

“We’ve probably been thinking it’s going to happen like it did last year, but it doesn’t work that way.

“We’ve probably got a better side this year on paper, it’s just not performing.

“We’ve lost Danny Atwell who was leading our bowling attack, but we didn’t have him every game last year either.

“Runs have been a bit hard to get, we’ve all been down a bit on last year.

“When everyone isn’t contributing it’s always hard to perform well.”

We’ve probably been thinking it’s going to happen like it did last year, but it doesn’t work that way.

Andrew Lockett

The stop-start nature of the season to date hasn’t helped the club’s cause either, but Lockett is hoping his side can regain some momentum.

“We want to see if we can get two wins in before Christmas and restart again after Christmas,” he said.

“Basically getting that winning feeling back would be a good start, but we’re not looking past this week.”

Dederang boasts the league’s second highest run-scorer and leading wicket-taker in Andrew Creamer.

“I think he’s been in form for about a decade, so I don’t think it’s going anywhere,” Lockett laughed.

“They’ve got a few other good cricketers too, there’s a good balance across the board.

“That’s probably why they’ve improved, usually it’s Creamer or bust, but he’s certainly the key.”

But in a boost for the home side, Wodonga export Hudson Garoni will debut for Yackandandah on Saturday, joining his older brother, Cooper, in the top order.

“He’s keen to come on board and try his hand at a bit more cricket,” Lockett said.

“He’ll be a good inclusion and hopefully we can find a few runs out of him.

“Our top five are all 19 years and under, which is where the up and down form is coming from a little bit.

“It’s not only their fault, that’s just what you get with a bit of youth.

“We’ve probably got to get a bit more mongrel in us and hunt a bit better as opposed to being hunted.”

In the weekend’s remaining games, Baranduda hosts the in-form Corowa, Bethanga faces a tough task against Wodonga, Lavington will start favourites away to Howlong, Mount Beauty clashes with Kiewa in a replay of last year’s grand final, while Eskdale has the bye.