Roos face uphill battle in semi-final clash

CHASING RUNS: West Gambier's Jack Geddes was one of the top scorers in the Roos' last batting effort and will hope to help his team to a respectable total against Penola this weekend. Picture: THOMAS MILES

CHASING RUNS: West Gambier’s Jack Geddes was one of the top scorers in the Roos’ last batting effort and will hope to help his team to a respectable total against Penola this weekend.

MOUNT Gambier and District cricket finals kick off tomorrow, with no shortage of action across the region.

In the Barber Shield North Sportsman’s play South Gambier at Frew Park, while Penola will be on a mission to keep its undefeated record in tact, when it hosts West Gambier over the two days of competition, played at McCorquindale Park tomorrow and Sunday.

The Eagles have been the benchmark of the competition this season, along with their Tiger rivals, with consistency a valuable asset in most hit outs so far.

However, there has of course been a stand out, as David Somerfield boasts an impressive season with both bat and ball.

He will be dangerous again this weekend in both disciplines and the Roos will need to keep him quiet if they are to stand a chance at victory.

Last round’s second day was called off due to extreme heat, while Penola’s previous two-day clash saw an impressive score of 4/286 against East Gambier.

Somerfield excelled on day one to post a century (138), while he backed it up on day two with six wickets.

He alone can deal some big damage, while the likes of Jack Mullan, Jase Bateman and Michael Waters will also be out to continue their recent form with the ball.

Lewis March, Bateman, Mark Smith and Jack Schulz all made decent runs in the win over the Bulldogs, while George Kidman is also capable of bolstering the score.

They will all be out to perform again and should the Eagles find a foothold at the crease, West may struggle to shut them down.

The Roos have struggled with the bat this season, but last round’s cancelled game against Mil Lel saw a consistent effort on day one.

Co-captain Jake Blackwell managed a top score of 38, while 33 runs from Jack Geddes and 25 from Sam Willis were the next best.

Fellow captain Niall Easterbrook, Alex Hill, Ben Hentschke and Curtis King also made double figures.

If West is to remain competitive over both days, it will require a solid team effort, while a big score or two will not go astray.

A 51-run effort from Willis back in round one is the team’s best solo effort for the Barber Shield season and the Roos will be under the pump again when faced with the power of Penola’s bowling lineup.

If West is to cause an upset over the ladder leader, it is likely the match will be won with the ball, as if the Roos can not limit the Eagles’ runs, they may lack the firepower to defend or chase down the target.

With the ball Hentschke and Easterbrook come off three-wicket hauls in round nine for West, while the likes of Richard Crute and Willis will also be looked to.

The Roos will take their recent Twenty20 semi final win over the Eagles as a confidence booster, but to carry that form over to the two day format is a whole new challenge.

The previous two-day clash between the sides saw Penola set an unassailable 285 runs in day one, before it limited West to just 145 the week after back in round seven.

It may all come down to who wins the toss and the outcome of tomorrow’s play will no doubt provide an insight into what is to come on Sunday, as the two sides fight for a place in the 2018-19 grand final.