South faces tough task out West

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South faces tough task out West

West Gambier v South Gambier

West Gambier sits on top of the ladder of the Barber Shield and will now face fifth placed South Gambier in a must win game for the visitors.

Finals are now a long shot for South Gambier with only one win from its first seven matches, a loss will mean that finals are no longer a possibility, meaning this match against West is an absolute must win.

West Gambier has looked the best side this season and deservedly sits on top of the ladder.

Finals are a ‘sure thing’, but the side will still fight to finish first and win back-to-back minor premierships.

Sam Willis has been in top form for West Gambier and has been a big part of his side’s success this season. With Jake Blackwell back in the side the West batting lineup is looking formidable.

South Gambier will be desperate for early wickets as a big opening partnership could lead to a longer day for the Demons.

The middle order will also be needing to provide more for South after a collapse against North in round seven.

Stephen Easterbrook and Adam Kuhl will be two players in particular who will hope to spend more time at the crease than they did in round 7.

Sam Bradbrook has looked solid at the top and West Gambier will hope to see the back of him early.

With South Gambier’s season on the line expect a season defining performance, however it may not be enough as West Gambier has proven to be hard to beat this year.

East Gambier v Penola

Penola will make the trip to Allan Scott Park in search of its first win of the Mount Gambier and District Cricket Association season as the two-day format returns to the Barber Shield.

It’s been a tough season for Penola so far as it is yet to win a match and it will be no easy clash in round 8 against East Gambier.

The side has struggled for runs in recent weeks, but with Michael Waters starting to develop some form with the bat, if he can get support around him Penola could get enough runs on the board to be competitive.

East Gambier has been getting the job done this season while not looking like it’s in the same form as last season.

The side will know that in the second half of the season it needs to click into gear sooner rather than later.

If a few players can find some form out in the middle then East Gambier could become a serious threat at the pointy end and a two-day match gives the batsmen plenty of time to find their feet.

The Doggies will hope to capitalise on Penola’s poor form and find some big runs which have evaded them at points throughout the season.

Bowler Marc Roberts will hope to back up his efforts from the previous week after an excellent spell against Mil Lel. Penola’s batsmen should be cautious of Roberts and his wicket taking potential.

East Gambier should take the points from the match, but it will not come easy and the side will still need to perform well with both the bat and ball.

Mil Lel v North Sportsman’s

Mil Lel is hoping to bounce back after a disappointing defeat in round seven as the side hosts North Sportsman’s at Frew Park for round eight of the Barber Shield.

Last time the sides met was a one-day match in round three with North Sportsman’s too good on the day, but Mil Lel will believe it can get the result this time around.

Michael Johnston, Elliot Fisher and Nick McInerney were in good form with the bat last round and Mil Lel will be aware they are the key wickets for North.

Top order runs will be a top priority for Mil Lel in this outing. In recent matches the top order has struggled for runs which has put a major dent in its chances of taking the points.

Nick Walters found some good form with the ball for Mil Lel last round picking up three important wickets, while Jack Miller has continued to lead from the front with ball in hand.

Miller is currently the leading wicket taker in the Barber Shield with 20 wickets from the first seven matches and the North batsmen will be wary when he runs into bowl.

Both sides have had a good start to the season and this match will be important in how finals shape up.

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