Sport

Weekend sport preview | January 17

By Andrew Johnston

Basketball

Win and you're in.

It doesn't get much more simple than what awaits the Echuca Lady Pirates this weekend.

They have two games on their own floor, against two good sides in Bendigo and Swan Hill.

A win in either game guarantees a spot in the finals.

A loss and they will be relying on results to see if they earn a spot in the finals.

So naturally, they're gunning for a win.

Bendigo has had their number this season, though their round seven meeting only had 10 points in it.

Swan Hill, who currently sit third with an equal record is the team the Pirates are more likely to beat.

The Pirates earned their first win of the season against the Flyers in round three, and repeating that effort would see them likely jump Swan Hill for third place, earning a first week match up with Maryborough instead of ladder leaders Bendigo.

As for the men, with the team out of contention, the hope is simply for a strong end to the season on their own floor.

Their own double header with Swan Hill and Bendigo awaits, and the team will be hoping to just produce their best basketball.

Cricket

MOAMA is within striking distance of top spot in Goulburn Murray Cricket.

With ladder-leader Kyabram Fire Brigade on the ropes against rivals Rochester, the Magpies will likely just need a first innings win against local rivals Echuca to claim top spot.

Echuca still leads by 104 runs, while Moama has eight wickets in hand to get the job done.

It won't be easy - when they are hot, Echuca has one of the best bowling attacks in the GMC - but there is huge reward for effort.

●Rochester has a foot firmly placed on Kyabram's throat when play resumes on day two.

Having already extinguished the Flames for just 82, Rochy closed play trailing by 31 runs with seven wickets in hand.

With the sides having already played out a tie, the win would be a big boost for Rochester in terms of confidence, but will also help to firm up their chances of a top four finish.

●By no means is 126 a nothing score.

Especially when you close out the day with two early wickets.

That's the situation Echuca South are in heading into day two of their clash with Cooma.

Chasing their third win of the year, South have Cooma at 2/32 chasing 127 for a first innings win.

It's not going to be an easy victory from here, but if South's bowlers can get on a roll, we wouldn't write them off.

●Darin Ohlsen's century on day one is likely going to be enough to get Tongala over the line against BLU.

Tonny's score of 207 is strong in this competition, and while we have seen it chased down before, it's probably too much for BLU, who have been struggling in the longer form of the game this year.

A second win for BLU would be huge, but it's going to take a lot of chasing.

Lawn bowls

Moama continues to dominate the mid week bowls competition, and that looks likely to stay the same this week.

The ladder leaders face bottom side Rich River in today's matches, while Echuca will be on the road in Deniliquin.

Mathoura will host Rochester in the other game of the round.

In weekend bowls, City of Echuca is still on top, with a one point lead over Tongala.

But it's third placed Moama they will have to worry about this week, as the two sides square off on the greens of Moama Bowling Club.

Tongala will hit the road to play Deni RSL, with Rich River headed for Rochester.

The final game of the round sees Mathoura play Deniliquin.

Tennis

GMLTA action continues this week, with one of our local teams at home and the other on the road.

Echuca/Rochester will be looking to get off the bottom of the ladder as they host third placed Shepparton Bulls, while the Rich River Rebels will be on the road against Numurkah Warriors as they look to build momentum after their win against the Shepparton Hornets last week.