MERRIVALE skipper Michael Walsh says a heavy loss to today’s semi-final opponent West Warrnambool three weeks ago might have sharpened his side’s focus.
Nanjing Night Net

“I thought we were travelling all right. Perhaps everyone thought we were travelling better than we were,” Walsh said of his side’s round 11 defeat to the Panthers.

“It might have been the kick in the guts we needed. Sometimes a loss is as good as a win. This week is the game we want to win.”

Merrivale was dismissed for 130 on a good batting deck against West, which successfully chased down the total with five wickets and overs in hand.

The following week, rain washed out the first day of Merrivale’s crunch game against Woodford. But in last week’s one-day game Merrivale bounced back, bowling the Eels out for 28 and earning two bonus points to leap to second on the ladder.

“We had a bit of a chat about it after we were washed out. We weren’t happy with our performance,” Walsh said.

“If you sit there and talk about it, you aren’t going to solve any problems. The week off with the rain might have been a good thing. We had a meeting and everyone realised where we were at.”

Walsh said today’s plan was “pretty basic”.

“We just have to win,” he said. “It’s probably harder to win a semi-final than the grand final. We’ll just throw everything at them. We haven’t got anything to lose.”

“Hopefully it (the last encounter with West) was just an off day. I don’t want to take anything from West, they played well. I think we might have improved with our bowling last week.”

Walsh said his side’s batsmen had a big job this weekend.

“If our top order batsmen can give us a good start, our bowling has been pretty good all year.”

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