Saints prepared

Andrew Groves spoke to St Kilda skipper Graeme Rummans ahead of the season's massive last day of home and away matches.....

The Saints will go marching on tomorrow with another big fixture against Ringwood.

Ben Osborne’s men are currently in the driving seat after batting their way through last Saturday to close on 9-271.

Opposition leader Graeme Rummans expects the Rams to carry on and register a score close to the 300 mark.

However, with the second new ball taken his wicket-hungry seamers will be looking for an early scalp.

A successful run chase for St Kilda will see them finish in the top four. Unfortunately they won’t have a home Quarter Final with the Grand Prix taking precedence next weekend.

Rummans has ordered his troops to plod on regardless, starting tomorrow when he expects a strong showing in the batting department.

“We missed a few chances last week,” he said.graf_r13

“If we’d been able to take them then maybe we’d have been able to bowl Ringwood out and we wouldn’t have been chasing so big a score.

“I think they will bat on tomorrow. But it will be a good wicket again at the Junction and a fast outfield, we’ll just have to look at batting out the day.

“It will be nice to finish in the top four. We won’t have a home final with the Grand Prix taking place, but that’s a little bit out of our control.”

St Kilda has been right in the mix all season.

The last few weeks, however, have been a bit bumpy for the Saints. The recent outright defeat to Geelong will still be fresh in the memory.

Rummans will be desperate for a repeat performance not to happen in the next few weeks when it really is win or bust.

“This is probably the most even the competition has been in the last couple of years,” he continued.

“The top ten teams are capable of winning it. Frankston has come from nowhere; if they win this weekend then they could finish in the top four, they’ve hit form just at the right time.

“Dandenong are always a dangerous side in finals, Carlton are a good side, Prahran and Melbourne are probably the stand outs.

“But I’m confident that we’ve got as a good a chance as anyone. We’ve got a good variety in our bowling attack. Hopefully now the batters will go out there score the runs and just enjoy it.”

St Kilda will be missing Bobby Quiney and Peter Handscomb, who are on Bushrangers' duty tomorrow.

Tom Morris and Chris Blake will come in to replace them.

Lachlan Graf will continue to put his feet up as he looks to shake off a groin injury with a potentially big few weeks ahead.

Elsewhere, Essendon will be looking to put a spanner in the works of Melbourne Uni’s finals bid when they continue an intriguing battle at University Main Oval.

Uni resumes on 3-27, 175 shy of The Bombers’ first innings total.

Louis Cameron was the chief destroyer last week with 3-17. The Students will have to negotiate his threat in a bid to secure a spot in the top eight.

Fitzroy Doncaster look favourites to stay in the finals mix after last Saturday’s strong performance with the ball. Lions' stalwart Peter Dickson was the spearhead with 7-42 as Camberwell Magpies were all out for 226.mcgain_sf_v_dand

Lloyd Mash’s troops will resume play on 0-5.

Frankston Peninsula will be looking to pull off a shock result at the Albert Ground. After being skittled for 125 last Saturday, The Demons were 6-101 at the close.

There promises to be a few nerves in the shed as they chase down the Heat’s small total.

Speaking mid week, Carlton captain Tim Welsford is looking for his batters to seize the day against North Melbourne.

They resume on 1-7 chasing 269.

In the round’s other games, Footscray Edgewater will be eyeing an outright against Casey-South Melbourne. The Swans were rolled for 76 last Saturday. The Doggies are 3-138.

Dandenong will be hoping openers Tom Donnell (46no) and Brett Forsyth (35no) keep up the good work as they chase Richmond’s 119. The pair have already put on 82 for the first wicket, as the defending Premiers stare down the barrel.

Prahran will be sniffing early wickets against Hawthorn-Monash University. The True Blues compiled a healthy 5-345 last Saturday.

The Hawks were 2-40 at the close of play.

Geelong (0-5) will be hard-pressed to register the outright it needs against Northcote (235), but the inclusion of Aaron Finch for just his fourth match of the season will give the Cats a lift.

Keep up to date with all the action on the final day of the regular season either on twitter (@VicPremCricket) during the day or by reading the Premier website on Saturday night.

The state of play:

Haw-Mon Uni 2-40 v Prah 5(dec)345 (Bull 65 Hussey 53 Salpietro 100no Schlittler 85 Coates 31 O'Shea 4-105) at Monash Uni
Melb 6-101 (Hill 44 Boland 3-21) v Frank Pen 125 (Thompson 5-20) at the Albert Ground
Carl 1-7 v N Melb 269 (Lawford 113 Damjanovski 54 Love 50 Austin 5-42 Smyth 3-98) at Carlton
St K v Ring 9-271 (N Walsh 131 B Walsh 43 Muirhead 4-110) at Junction Oval
Camb Mag 226 (Hill 40 Berryman 32 Rickarby 42 Dickson 7-42) v Fitz Donc 0-5 at Camberwell
Dand 0-82 (Forsyth 35no Donnell 46no) v Rich 119 (Pattinson 5-13) at Dandenong
Foot Edge 3-138 (Robinson 71no Dean 41no) v Casey-SM 76 (Wright 3-15 Dredge 3-16) at Footscray
Melb Uni 3-27 (Cameron 3-17) v Ess 202 (Mire 75 Seymour 43 Ahmed 5-60 Stafford 3-41) at Melbourne Uni
Ncte 235 (Peake 91 March 58 Carson 3-36 Alford 3-24 McGlinchey 3-25) v Geel 0-5 at Northcote

Victorian Premier Cricket
Ladder after R18
              Pts (Aver)
Melbourne      73 (1.731)
Prahran        70 (1.281)
Ringwood       65 (1.295)hdr_premier_cricket_gs_pos
St Kilda       57 (1.322)
Frank Pen      54 (1.063)
Melb Uni       53 (1.093)
Richmond       51 (1.577)
Fitz Donc      50 (1.165)
Carlton        49 (1.034)
Dandenong      47 (1.252)
Geelong        44.9 (0.919)
Casey-SM       41 (0.808)
Foot Edge      33 (0.981)
North Melb     32 (0.784)
Camb Mag       31.8 (0.775)
Haw-Mon Uni    18 (0.662)
Essendon       12 (0.637)
Northcote       9 (0.520)

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