RDCA: Barkers seek three in row

TWO-time premiers Mooroolbark will have to do it the hard way but make no mistake, the Barkers are out for their third straight Lindsay Trollope Shield when the RDCA finals start this Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

The Barkers finished the season in third place and will host surprise-packet Warranwood in the elimination final this Saturday and Sunday at Mooroolbark Heights Reserve.

Minor premier Wantirna South will host South Croydon in the qualifying final at Walker Reserve. The elimination final winner will face the loser of the qualifying final in the preliminary final the following weekend.

Barkers coach Darren Bersey said his side was under no illusions how difficult the finals campaign would be but remained confident it could become the first Barkers side to win three straight flags.

The Barkers’ only clash with Warranwood came in a one-day game this season that the Sharks won. So Bersey said his players would be watchful of their opponents.

“Warranwood has had a great year and been a real X-factor in the competition. When we played them we got ourselves in a good position to chase down their score and then folded. The boys will be keen to make up for it this weekend.”

Bersey has challenged his batsmen to lift their output during the post-season.

“Our batsmen need to make more runs so we can get a good score on the board. We have a strong bowling attack, we back ourselves with the ball so we need the runs as well.” The Barkers’ third side is also playing in the finals.

The qualifying final promises to be an intriguing match-up as former Ringwood quick Drew McKay leads his Wantirna South Devils against Josh Stewart’s South Croydon Bulldogs.

Both sides will enter in solid form and with several potential match-winners. The winning side will go straight into the grand final.

Heavy rain meant no results from the final round of RDCA matches, which were scheduled to be played on Saturday.

After finishing in bottom spot, Croydon Ranges has been relegated to Wilkins Cup for next season.