Hill Top looking to move into top four

By Alex Mitchell

Hill Top could finish today’s Allan Matheson Shield round inside the top four if it can take care of business against bottom side Nagambie.

Sitting fifth, the Hillbillies are nine points behind fourth-placed East Shepparton, and could close that gap today when they head down the highway to face the Lakers.

Nagambie’s tough season continued last weekend, comfortably beaten 120-72 by Shepparton Golf, meaning it has won just eight of 36 rinks on offer since its only overall victory of the season against Seymour.

But the Lakers did surprise some by pinching a rink against Golf last weekend and might try and ride that momentum to some more points today, potentially crucial in the race for relegation.

Hill Top’s up-and-down season continued last weekend, getting back on the winners list with a 105-95 triumph against Seymour.

The Hillbillies missed the chance to take maximum points by slipping on one rink, but cut a 24-point deficit to fourth to nine points and will be out to continue that momentum today.

Murray Stark is compiling an impressive season for the Hillbillies with a 7-3 record, while Garry Russell is undefeated after four games as skip.

●Looking to hold off the charging Hillbillies and stick in finals contention, East Shepparton will be out to pull off an upset win today against Shepparton Golf.

East only took half a rink against Shepparton Park last weekend but will head back to its home green to take on the three-time reigning premier, looking to close the gap from when the sides last met and Golf won by 46 shots.

Golf did what it had to do against Nagambie last weekend and will continue to battle for top spot on the ladder with Kyabram, knowing full well first gains no advantage over second heading into finals.

Golf’s Brett Gunning and Brad Orr have both lost just once this season while East’s Ash Lawlor and Daniel Nichols have been its best performed skips.

●Seymour will head to Stanhope today keen for an upset win that could prove monumental in the race to avoid relegation.

It remains just two points clear of bottom side Nagambie and might fancy its chances of knocking off a Stanhope side that has been soundly beaten in its last two outings, downed by 44 points against Kyabram last weekend.

Seymour fell by 10 shots to Hill Top last week but won a rink and will look to record its first overall win since its round three’s triumph.