NORTH Warrnambool captain Nick Butters says pumping pressure on Merrivale's young spin brigade could help his men clinch an upset semi-final triumph on Saturday.
The Eels sealed fourth spot in the race for Warrnambool and District Cricket Association finals this past Saturday after rainfall washed out both their fixture and Nestles' must-win clash against Wesley Yambuk.
Nestles had to beat third-placed Wesley Yambuk and needed North Warrnambool to lose to Russells Creek if it was to snatch fourth.
But more than 13 millimetres of rainfall overnight Friday and early on Saturday morning meant four of five division one games - including both North Warrnambool's and Nestles' - were abandoned.
It meant North sewed up a semi-final against Merrivale and left Russells Creek to prepare for a mouthwatering clash with Wesley Yambuk to decide grand finalists.
I think just the way they bowl and they field, they're really good in the field and they've got a lot of those off-spinners who are hard to get away.- Nick Butters
Butters said the Eels would back themselves against minor premier Merrivale but respected the Tigers as the "benchmark" side.
"I think just the way they bowl and they field, they're really good in the field and they've got a lot of those off-spinners who are hard to get away," he said.
"They've got some really players in there as well. But if we can get on top of one or two of their (spinners) we'll put the pressure back on their quickies who probably haven't had the pressure all year. "Their spinners have stood up all year but hopefully we can get on top of some of their younger spinners and put the pressure to maybe see a few more mistakes with the ball."
He said North Warrnambool - which is the new combined identity of Woodford, a former WDCA powerhouse and Wangoom - would enter the fixture confident.
"You don't like to make finals on the back of rain in the short-term, but we put a body of work in place throughout the year to put ourselves in that position," Butters said. "Rain is rain and there's nothing you can do about that. We're feeling OK. We've made 200 the past couple of weeks and that's always going to win you more games than it loses down here."
Butters said North Warrnambool would field its youngest finals outfits for a number of years.
"We've only just snuck in so we're going in as pretty big underdogs but we've still got enough experience in the team that've been there and done that," he said.
"If you're not going in confident there's no point going in I guess. We're certainly ready.
"I think we've got six or seven guys under 21 again. There's plenty of p-plates rolling into the games again. It's sort of like another generation coming through.
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"I remember when (my generation) came through there were seven or eight of us all rolling in with our p-plates and couldn't have a beer after the game.
"Now I'm one of the older heads and it's sort of gone 360, I guess."
The location of both semi-finals will be revealed early in the week. Merrivale and Russells Creek will get pick of the venues after finishing first and second.
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