WANTIRNA South doesn't want to fall behind the pack in the Lindsay Trollope Shield and wants to force the issue in its clash with Mooroolbark this Saturday.
Rain restricted the sides to just 27 overs with Mooroolbark getting to 1-55 at Heights Reserve before rain set in, ending play. Captain-coach Lincoln Grigg is on 23 and Brendan Ricci on 24.
Grigg said he and Ricci worked hard to rebuild the innings after opener Adam Houghton was caught off Devils star quick Drew McKay, leaving the team 1-11.
Under RDCA rules any game that is played over 15 overs remains a two-day match, meaning four of the five Trollope Shield matches will resume on day 2 this Saturday while Warranwood's clash with South Croydon at Cheong Park will become a one-day game as they couldn't take the field on Saturday.
Devils captain Matt King said with South Croydon or Warranwood to take full points from their one-day game, his side wanted the chance to push for a result so they didn't fall behind in the finals race.
"South Croydon and Warranwood will get the full eight points and they are both going to be finals contenders," he said. "So if we split the points and get four each, then one of those two sides will be four points ahead."
But King also acknowledged the Barkers, and the weather, would have to play along for the match to end in a result. "It's in Mooroolbark's hands if they want to make a game of it," he said. "But it can be in our hands if we can bowl them out and give ourselves a short target to chase."
King said if a result couldn't be achieved his side wouldn't throw away their innings. "If they bat their whole 53 overs then we aren't going to force it in our innings," he said.
The Devils are still missing Andy Jorgensen but have brought in 17-year-old all-rounder Tim Clarke. Grigg said he thought neither side had much chance of achieving a result from the match barring a run of wickets or a burst of run scoring.
The ground took a battering during football season with rain and some blocked drainage making the ground a mud pit during parts of August.
Grigg said the ground was coming along but the centre wicket area was still quite damaged. "We are looking to play 95-100 overs next week as we have an extra hour we can use once we get past 80 overs," he said. "It doesn't suit either side if you want to win the game."
The Barkers are playing without fast bowler Matt Whittaker (laser eye surgery) and all-rounder Mark Ross (work commitments) but have handed debuts to 14-year-old all-rounder Mark Butler and under-16s captain Kaden Smith.
"Butler has been in some Victorian schoolboys teams," Grigg said. "He has trained at Fitzroy-Doncaster during the pre-season and he is rated pretty highly. We took the chance to give them both a go in the seniors. They are both more than capable."
North Ringwood made a watchful start to its match with Norwood working its way to 1-95 from 36 overs while Ainslie Park is in some trouble against South Warrandyte at Ainslie Park Reserve sitting on 4-42 from 20 overs.
Bayswater Park has some runs on the board against Croydon North, ending play at 5-142 from 54 overs.