THE stakes will be high for Gunnedah and Moree as the two teams both search for a maiden win when they clash at Wolseley Park on Sunday in round three of the MA Connolly Cup.
Both teams enter round three without a win, and need a victory soon to remain in the hunt for the semi-finals, which involve the top four teams in the seven-team competition, with Gwydir and Armidale tied at the top, followed by Glen Innes and Tamworth Blue, with Quirindi stranded in seventh.
Having made totals of 78 and 218, Gunnedah lost to Armidale and Gwydir by seven wickets and 140 runs respectively.
Meanwhile this season has been a far cry from last season for Moree, which was undefeated on its way to picking up the Cup.
Moree began this season with a home fixture against Tamworth, who beat them by 73 runs after they recorded 44 wides, before forfeiting the next match against Glen Innes due to harvest, and Gunnedah skipper Blake Small hopes they will show this week, after they too were forced to draw on some junior players to fill the side.
“More people have got to be keen,” Small said when asked what was the key for the team to improve.
“The young players are going to better their cricket if they play at a higher level,” Small said.
In the other fixtures around the district on Sunday Tamworth Blue will host Glen Innes, with a win for either getting one foot in the door of a finals spot, while Gwydir will host Quirindi at Bingara and Armidale take the bye. This will be round three of the seven round competition, with the final to be played on February 26.