Four remain in finals hunt

HOMERS skipper Lachie Jones believes his side has the firepower to take down Noradjuha-Toolondo in its A Grade semi-final clash at Horsham City Oval at the weekend.

The minor and reigning premier has gone through the season undefeated, holding a 2-0 record over the Bullants in 2013-14.

Jones said Pigeons opening bowlers Siphe Mzaidume and Craig Britten held the key to victory on Saturday and Sunday.

"We've done the work throughout the year and it's a matter of getting it done now," he said.

"I think probably the most important thing now is you want everyone firing.

"Our bowling is going to be the biggest key -  we'd like to think Siphe and Brits can make the most of the new ball and run through them."

Click here for Mail-Times sports journalist Nick Duxson's 2013-14 team of the season

However, Jones said the Pigeons were wary of the Bullants - who boast a batting line-up featuring an in-form Josh Colbert and proven performers such as Mat Combe and Rowan Scott.

Bullants captain Combe said building partnerships and making early breakthroughs would be important.

"We're the underdogs and we've got nothing to lose, so all the pressure is on Homers," he said.

"I think our bowling has been our strong point this season but we haven't had much luck.

"We definitely need early wickets because they have a strong batting line-up."

Colbert and Combe will be crucial to the Bullants' hopes of a grand final berth -  especially in the likely absence of all-rounders Jordan Huff and Jarred Combe.

The Pigeons will hope one of its four A Grade century-makers this season Jones, Sandy Hodge, Jason Templeton, Chris Hopper can fire.

At Sunnyside, Rup-Minyip and Blackheath-Dimboola will lock horns as they vie for a grand final berth.

The Bulls have tasted success twice this year - in the one-day and Twenty20 formats - while the Blue Panthers will be hopeful of another crack at the premiership after finishing runners-up last season.

In-form batsman Travis Hair, who is under an injury cloud, said the Bulls were excited to play finals.

"I think there might only be two of us - Matt McKinnon and I - who have played A Grade finals," he said.

"It's going to be a good challenge.

"We're in pretty good nick."

Hair said a settled batting order that included Lachie Watts, Ollie Young and Hamish Exell and new-ball bowler Elliot Braithwaite would be the key to the Bulls' success.

But he said it would not be an easy task against a Blue Panthers side that contained a number of experienced finals performers.

Blue Panthers skipper Clint Midgley said his team would be at full strength for the match.

"We're quietly confident, but they're certainly the form team," he said.

"We're a very settled side and we know what our roles are we bat right down and our depth is the key."

All-rounders Midgley, Paul Morgan and Craig Morgan and top-order batsman Adam Carter will be pivotal to the Blue Panthers' hopes.

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