THE fate of Centrals’ 2013-14 Orange District Cricket Association first grade campaign goes on the line this weekend when the red and blacks play defending champions Orange City at Riawena Oval.
Currently sitting fourth on 49 points, Centrals must claim at least first innings points against the Warriors to stave off a challenge for the final place in the ODCA top four from Kinross (47 points).
The students play the bottom of the ladder Waratahs (37) at KWS Main Oval and should form ring true, Kinross will claim the points in that clash.
But a win will see Centrals get the nod for fourth.
Knowing the fate of his side rests solely in their own hands, Centrals captain Jake Pauletto was backing his team’s shot at playing finals cricket.
“I’m backing the boys,” Pauletto said.
“I think the major thing will be to bat in partnerships and build our innings to put up a good score so our bowlers can to the job.”
Batting in partnerships is probably what has lacked so far this summer for Centrals.
But today and tomorrow the red and blacks will boast their best batting line-up this season.
Adam Shepherd is back, as is Nick Dunlop, while Michael Walker, Max Dodds, Dean Turner and Pauletto have all chimed in with runs at one stage or another throughout 2013-14.
While a must-win game for Centrals, the same can’t be said for City.
Likely to finish second or third, win, lose or draw, the Warriors will be looking for momentum rather than a higher rung on the ladder after the final round is complete.
“We’re playing either CYMS or Cavs next week, that’s the crux of it,” skipper Matt Findlay said.
“It’s much of a muchness, you get a tough game either way. We do want to beat Centrals though, and take some momentum into next weekend. They’ll be tough, they’re unpredictable and we need to be on our game to secure the points.”
Today’s game begins at 1pm on Saturday at Riawena.
Play will resume at the same time on Sunday.