MOOROOLBARK and Wantirna South face an uphill battle to get a result from their opening-round Lindsay Trollope Shield clash in the Ringwood District Cricket Association this Saturday.
Mooroolbark got to 1-55 from 27.4 overs in day 1 of the match at Heights Reserve on Saturday before rain set in, ending play.
Captain-coach Lincoln Grigg is on 23 not out and Brendan Ricci 24 not out.
Grigg said he and Ricci worked hard to rebuild the innings after opener Adam Houghton was caught off Devils star quick Drew McKay, leaving the team 1-11.
"Adam got a good ball just outside off-stump; then we had to work hard to get back to even," he said.
"I suppose it's evenly poised at this stage."
Under RDCA rules any game that is played over 15 overs remains a two-day match, meaning four out of the five Trollope Shield matches will resume on day 2 this Saturday while Warranwood's clash with South Croydon at Cheong Park will become a one-day game as they couldn't take the field on day 1.
At a rain-affected Heights Reserve, Grigg said he thought neither side had much chance of achieving a result from the match barring a run of wickets or a burst of run scoring.
The ground took a battering during football season with rain and some blocked drainage making the ground a mud pit during parts of August.
Grigg said the ground was coming along but the centre wicket area was still quite damaged.
"We are looking to play 95-100 overs next week as we have an extra hour we can use once we get past 80 overs," he said.
"It doesn't suit either side if you want to win the game."
The Barkers are playing without fast bowler Matt Whittaker (laser eye surgery) and all-rounder Mark Ross (work commitments) but have handed debuts to 14-year-old all-rounder Mark Butler and under-16s captain Kaden Smith.
"Butler has been in some Victorian schoolboys teams," Grigg said.
"He has trained at Fitzroy-Doncaster during the preseason and he is rated pretty highly.
"We took the chance to give them both a go in the seniors. They are both more than capable."
North Ringwood made a watchful start to its match with Norwood working its way to 1-95 from 36 overs while Ainslie Park is in some trouble against South Warrandyte at Ainslie Park Reserve sitting on 4-42 from 20 overs.
Bayswater Park has some runs on the board against Croydon North ending play at 5-142 from 54 overs.
In last week's Maroondah Weekly the wrong picture was used in an article about Ringwood bowler Michael Topp. We apologise for our error.