Ex-Services have the wind in their sails after taking down competition favourites Easts, but the reigning Armidale Cricket premiers Hillgrove are aiming to rain on their parade when the two sides clash this Saturday.
Hillgrove have only lost two wickets from their two matches but it was their bowling attack, led by Max Laurie, which has torn their opponents apart.
Laurie will be absent for the Servies encounter but Hillgrove skipper Matt Schaefer said the vacancy left by the bowler will provide the opportunity for one of the club’s young guns to step up.
“Henry Sindel will get his first shot in first grade this weekend,” he said.
“He's a junior but has been with the club and worked his way up through the grades and is going okay in second grade.
“He bowls pretty well and bats okay as well so him and Andrew Currie come up to bolster our bowling as well as Hugh Reeves coming back in, he will bowl a few overs as well.
“The guys dropping out will be missed for sure with Max dropping out, Bentley Cropper as well and Jack Carey.
“It is always unfortunate to see those guys drop out but it is good to see we have a bit of depth we can pull on.”
Servies captain John Elliot asked his side to stand up against Easts and they delivered. He believes they’re going to have to fight even harder against Hillgrove.
“They're the premiers for a reason, there's no doubt about that and they have flexed their muscle pretty early, having two very convincing wins,” he said.
“I don't think many of their middle order batsmen have had to put on their pads. All we can do is try and compete with them and try and match it with them.
“We showed we can play a level of cricket and now we have to lift again, we have to improve each game.
“We can't just beat a good team once, we have to do it again and match it with them rather than just having one flukey win here.”