NOORAT took full advantage of Cobden cricketers being away on a footy trip last weekend.
But the South West Cricket hopeful will itself be undermanned for the same reason when the season continues today.
As many as seven Noorat cricketers, including Nick Kenna, Warren Attrill and Scott Coverdale are on the Kolora-Noorat footy trip this weekend.
Their absences means the clash against Boorcan at Noorat Recreation Reserve today will be an early test of depth.
First-year Noorat captain Wil Pomorin conceded the timing was not ideal.
But he had confidence his men could preserve their unbeaten record.
They were convincing in thrashing Cobden seven days ago and are favourites to score back-to-back wins.
“The way the boys gelled together and had a good win, it was a good start,” Pomorin said.
“We still have a couple still not playing as well — big Steve Staunton and Joel Crawley.”
Pomorin said not having a settled side before Christmas had tempered his early-season expectations.
“We know the boys will travel back after Christmas, it’ll be a bit easier,” he said.
“Before Christmas, when the races are on, if we can get a couple of wins while people are away we could be in the top four.”
Noorat shapes as a genuine threat to pre-season flag favourites Mortlake, Pomborneit and Terang, particularly with its best side on the park.
Experienced heads Bernie Harris and Dave Conheady, who both posted half-centuries last weekend, lead the batting order.
Staunton, Attrill and Chris Baxter help form one of the more impressive pace attacks in the competition.
All-rounder Pomorin, who has crossed from Wesley-CBC, serves to add batting and bowling depth.
In other South West Cricket round two matches, Woorndoo welcomes neighbour Mortlake to Woorndoo Recreation Reserve.
The Tigers began life in division one with a win last weekend but face a much tougher opponent today in the reigning premier.
Pomborneit hosts Cobden at Pomborneit Recreation Reserve while Simpson meets Terang at Simpson Recreation Reserve. Bookaar plays Heytesbury Rebels at Camperdown Showgrounds in a clash between two youthful outfits which suffered first-up defeats. The division two and division three competitions also start today.