OFF THE BACK FOOT: Bilbies skipper Wayne Short leading the way with a classic cut shot.
OFF THE BACK FOOT: Bilbies skipper Wayne Short leading the way with a classic cut shot. Terry Hill

Two horse race for finals

THREE teams are safely through and two are still fighting for a top four berth ensuring the last round of Central Highlands senior cricket is a dogged display.

A win for the Springsure Ringers mean they advance to the semis, a loss gives Blackwater a chance.

The Bilbies' scenario is simple, they must win their last game of the season against Rolleston, from there it is out of their hands as they must pray that Emerald Brothers get the job done against Springsure in order to go through.

Brothers, Rolleston and Clermont have already qualified, the Emerald Magpies and Dysart Dingos have bowed out of the race.

Blackwater have been entrenched in the top four all season and have been a vast improvement on their paltry 2014/15 season but missing out now would be a bitter pill to swallow.

Even if they miss out on a finals spot, skipper Wayne Short just wants his side to finish the year with a win.

"At the end of the day if we don't make the semis it has still been a good year, we just want to make sure we win the last game of the year," Short said.

"It would be disappointing to miss out but second to fifth is very close, we have done well.

"We need to win and will give it all we have got, we should field a pretty strong side - you don't know what will happen.

"I think we all need to step up with the bat, get through our 40 overs to give ourselves a decent target, we have a strong bowling attack.

"It's great to have a home game to finish it off, hopefully we can celebrate with a win."

Springsure captain Anthony Love said his side will draw from last season where they managed to overcome Brothers on home soil.

"It is a huge game, we have to play it like a semi final to take Blackwater out of the equation," Love explained.

"Brothers have been the benchmark all season and it will be a tough ask but we beat them last year so that will be in the back of our minds.

"We haven't had much luck playing them in Emerald, and it's always better to play at home. We are up for the challenge."

Love said it was vital for his side to bat out the entire innings but didn't mind whether he batted or bowled first.

"We have won games batting first or bowling first, but it would be nice to post a big score and defend it," he said.

"One thing we haven't done consistently is bat the 40 overs, only twice all year which has let us down.

"Dominic Mobbs comes back in which will strengthen both batting and bowling.

"And Duncan Geddes our big fast bowler, he can keep us in the game on his own."

Clermont awaits whichever side makes it through.

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