Cressy and Beauty Point will face off in one of two top-four clashes in the TCL this weekend.
All seven sides had the long weekend off but the Tamar Valley Tigers are still riding high from a huge win over Diggers courtesy of a thrilling century from all-rounder Jason Savage.
“It was probably one of the cleanest-hitting hundreds I’ve seen and I’ve seen a lot of hundreds and played against a lot of good players,” Beauty Point coach Rob Crane said.
“He's in pretty good form which is good before Christmas.”
Opening bowler Hayden Thompson will make his debut for Beauty Point against a Cressy batting lineup without star batsman Damian Whybrow (unavailable) and all-rounder Sam Luttrell (overseas).
Stand-in Bulldogs coach Sam Henley said Jono Goss would take Whybrow’s spot at the top of the order as his side looks to put together a solid batting performance.
“We just want to consolidate a bit more,” Henley said.
“We got into a good spot against Hadspen in our first 40-over game and then the wheels fell off pretty quick, so we want a bit more improvement in our batting.”
Both sides will have the chance to jump into the top four when ACL host Legana in the sole 10am game of round 9.
The Bluebacks put up a good fight against Longford last time out but will be hoping to secure a win this weekend despite losing opener Matthew Oates and the potential absence of Drew Clark (injury).
“I think both sides are evenly balanced at this stage of the year so we’re just looking forward to getting all three facets of our game on track,” ACL coach John Kedey said.
“I think we’re one of those teams who will be battling it out for the last couple of spots in finals this year so it’s really important we try and win these games.”
Reigning premiers LONGFORD will be looking to make it seven wins on the trot when they host Hadspen in a rematch of last season’s final.
The Chieftains have a 3-3 record for the season so far but will take confidence from knocking off second-placed Cressy in their first 40-over hitout a fortnight ago.
Hadspen skipper Liam Reynolds said the Country Tigers were a “tough ask” but was confident his side could challenge the competition’s only unbeaten side.
“It should be a good test,” Reynolds said.
“They’ve been the benchmark for the past couple of years and they’ve started quite well.
“We’re hopefully just starting to get into our straps so hopefully it can be a nice close contest and we can do all areas well against a quality side.”
Both top-four clashes will get under way at noon.
ACL v Legana (Uni Oval)
Beauty Point v Cressy (Beauty Point)
Longford v Hadspen (Longford)
Diggers - BYE