AN away win over Merrivale on Saturday has Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) powerhouse Woodford back in the thick of the action.
After five rounds, the Eels have two wins and sit just a game outside the top four.
Captain Nick Butters is keen to stay on the winners list and avoid a repeat of a sluggish beginning that put his team under the pump last season.
“We lost six of our first seven games last year and that put a lot of pressure on,” Butters said.
“We really needed the win on Saturday to stay in touch and it was pleasing to beat Merrivale, who are a very good team.”
Despite the slow start last year, the Eels reached the semi-finals, following on from three consecutive premierships. Woodford last missed the finals in 2011-12.
While established stars such as Butters (90) and Hank Schlaghecke (3-31) were influential against Merrivale, it is the form of some young players that has the captain happy.
“Liam Burgess and Alex Jennings have been really good,” Butters said.
“They are stepping up and playing key roles.
“Mikey Boyd has come on board this season and he has been really good with the bat.”
Butters said the evenness of the competition means teams can not afford to fall too far off the pace.
“Russells Creek is certainly the team to beat at this stage but after that it’s really tight,” Butters said.
“Each game is tough so we need to build consistency.”