RUSSELLS Creek's status as Jetty Flat specialists is causing headaches for opponents but skipper Matt Petherick believes his side can go to another gear on the road.
Creek has dominated the South Warrnambool ground through the summer and is averaging 234.2 runs an innings at home.
The ground has the smallest turf-pitch boundaries in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association - especially side-to-side - but Petherick said playing it properly was vital.
He said while his men were in hot touch at home, their away form was less impressive.
Both of its road matches have resulted in losses. The first came to Nestles at Jones Oval and the second to West Warrnambool at Davidson Oval.
We did really well at the pre-season getting ourselves ready to go but over Christmas and missing a game with COVID, the interest isn't quite where it should be at the moment.- Matt Petherick
"I'm pretty happy with how we're playing at home but in terms of playing away, we've got a bit of work to do," Petherick said.
"That's in the sense of trying to time our innings a bit better instead of getting out there and trying to dominate the game straight away with the bat.
"I'd say it's really just batting smarter when we're away from Jetty. We need to dig in at training too.
"We did really well at the pre-season getting ourselves ready to go but over Christmas and missing a game with COVID, the interest isn't quite where it should be at the moment.
"We've got a bit to do in that sense but hopefully getting a few wins and really timing our run towards the back end of the season will be good."
Petherick said Creek was making the most of a "really nice batting wicket" at Jetty Flat and felt its gameplan suited the venue, which was formally used solely as an athletics track.
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"If you can get through the first five or six overs without losing a wicket, it really sets the game up for the batting team," he said.
"We've had a really good look at that but I think other teams haven't known Jetty to be as much of a road as it has been this year.
"I think we've been able to get the jump on teams knowing what the deck is going to be like and I suppose it'll be the same with Nestles and Reid Oval.
"Once they figure out how to play it, they'll be a really, really hard team to beat out there."
The second-year captain was impressed with the form of co-coach Cam Williams, who blasted his second century of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association division one season against Dennington on Saturday. The 101-run knock came from just 83 balls and took just 84 minutes.
He said Williams had made subtle changes to his game and was seeing results.
"He's chanceless when he keeps the ball out of the air," Petherick said.
"He's been working really hard at not going out in the 70s or 80s and going on to make those big hundreds.
"It;'s batting really smartly instead of just seeing a few and whacking them. In the past he'd seen a few fours, whack them and then went for that extra one which wasn't really there. This season, I think his concentration has gone to another level which is pretty scary for the rest of the league."
Getting Creek's middle-order in form was also something which could lift it to another level, Petherick said.
"But it's hard for the middle order bats because Shashan (Silva) and Cam can look so easy up the top but the middle order has to come out and start whacking balls from ball one," he said.
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