Shellharbour skipper Ben Mitchell believes his club has taken a step forward in their bid for a semi-final spot after their clash with The Rail went ahead on Saturday, leaving the three other South Coast first grade matches to be played under two-day rules.
While just 11.2 overs were possible at Tom Willoughby Oval before play was abandoned, by getting the match started the final round in all games must now be played under two-day rules, rather than as one-dayers, with second innings bonus points.
The Rail will resume on day two at 1-19, with the third-placed Shellharbour almost certainly only needing a draw (seven points) to seal a semi-final spot.
Should Shellharbour beat The Rail they would clinch third spot and take on second-placed Oak Flats in the semi-finals.
‘‘We definitely want to now bowl out The Rail and win the game and finish third,’’ Mitchell said.
Minor premiers Lake Illawarra and second-placed Oak Flats will finish first and second irrespective of the result of their clash at Howard Fowles Oval.
Fourth-placed Gerringong-Jamberoo know a first innings win over last-placed Kiama on Saturday should be enough to at least finish fourth, but a loss or draw would open the door for fifth-placed Warilla, if they can claim first innings points against Albion Park. Park have a slim chance of making the top four if they can beat Warilla and Kiama upset Gerringong-Jamberoo.
Meanwhile, all senior Illawarra cricket was washed out last Saturday leaving second and fourth to be decided in the final round.
Second-placed Helensburgh are two points ahead of Wollongong, while leaders Keira have clinched the minor premiership.
Twenty points are given for a win when the beaten side is bowled out, with fourth-placed Corrimal 18 points ahead of Dapto going into the round.
Keira host Wollongong, Northern Districts host Corrimal, Dapto host Wests, Helensburgh host University and Balgownie welcome Port Kembla.
Illawarra ladder: Keira 272, Helensburgh 208, Wollongong 206, Corrimal 179, Dapto 161, Port Kembla 144, Northern Districts 137, Balgownie 126, Wests Illawarra 65, University 64.
South Coast ladder: Lake Illawarra 183, Oak Flats 156, Shellharbour 118, Gerringong/Jamberoo 113, Warilla 107, Albion Park 103, The Rail 70, Kiama 61.