Naughton sees Bushies as the biggest test

ST PATRICK’S captain Heath Naughton believes his team faces its toughest challenge of the Cricket Albury-Wodonga season against Tallangatta at Rowen Park today.

With the clash in the balance after Patties made 266 runs last weekend, Naughton said it would take a disciplined performance to come away with their third win of the season.

“We will have to bowl well to win,” Naughton said yesterday.

“They have a long batting list and go at it pretty hard.

“Tallangatta has batsmen in good touch.

“Lavi was a big test and we got through it with our bowlers doing a good job and hopefully we can do it again.

“You need to be disciplined for the entire day and bowl good six-ball overs.”

Statistics say Tallangatta will be difficult to counter.

The Bushies have made 349 and 338 in their two home matches against East Albury and Albury and, although St Patrick’s has a superior attack to those teams, Andrew Lade, James Weighell and Mat Armstrong shape as the key wickets.

Lade and Weighell already boast centuries this season, while Armstrong has made 60 and has proven himself capable of standing up under pressure.

Armstrong said he was reasonably happy to restrict St Patrick’s to 266.

“We fought back well late last weekend and I think they probably would have liked another 30 or 40 runs to defend,” Armstrong said.

“It’s set up for a good finish.

“You can’t win a game in the first hour, but you can certainly lose it and a good start is going to be very important.”

St Patrick’s has turned to Mark Butters to take early wickets this season and his opening spell with the new ball is expected to have a huge say on the outcome.

Meanwhile, East Albury’s season could hinge on today’s clash against Albury at Alexandra Park.

The Crows are the only winless team after four rounds and must defend 173 runs to stay in touch with the rest.