Tailenders likely to be the difference

IT won’t be Tallangatta’s Andrew Lade or Steve Wood or Wodonga’s Robbie Jackson or James Tonkin who decides this weekend’s semi-final at Les Cheesley Oval.

Bushies skipper Mat Armstrong believes the winner of the three versus four clash will be the team with a greater spread of contributors.

“Both sides have key players, but I think the difference will be the side who gets more from their middle and fringe guys,” Armstrong said yesterday.

“If you can get a little more out of the eight, nine, 10 and 11 guys you could get across the line because the teams are pretty evenly matched.

“Once you get to finals you are always a chance.

“People respond to pressure differently.”

It’s no secret in CAW ranks that Wodonga and Tallangatta depend heavily on those key players, with 1362 of Wodonga’s 2876 runs coming from Jackson and Tonkin.

Tallangatta and Wodonga played one of the matches of the season in searing heat in round 9 when Nick Beattie smashed the final delivery for six to see the Bulldogs home by one wicket.

Armstrong is bracing himself for another hard-fought contest.

“The last game we had was a good tussle and I think it could be another one,” he said.

“It was really a toss of the coin in the finish.”

Wodonga bowler James Saker’s availability remains uncertain with the paceman also scheduled to play a football practice match for Lavington against Benalla at Benalla later today.