Craigieburn has a slight advantage after the first weekend of the Victorian Turf Cricket Association’s north-west A1 grand final.

Neither Craigieburn nor Glenroy was able to take complete control of the match in the first two days.

The first hour of day three will be vital in deciding the result.

Eagles vice-captain Nathan Pappin said the bowling of both sides was the key to the first weekend of the match.

“Both sides have bowled really well, bowling a tight line and making it hard to score,” he said.

“It was about getting crucial wickets at key times.”

The Eagles decided to bat on the slow Airport West ground and runs were hard to come by, with very few boundaries scored.

At stumps on day one, the Eagles were 5-137 with skipper Ian Blanchett and Adam Davies both unbeaten.

The Eagles struggled early on day two and lost 5-32 to be all out for 169.

Blanchett provided a captain’s innings, digging deep to top score with 46, his highest score of the season.

Opener Sikander Sharma was next best with 34.

Pappin said that while the total was slightly under what they had been hoping for, they knew it was very defendable if they bowled well.

“We had the runs on the board and that helps,” he said.

“They had a couple of hot days in the field and it was going to benefit us.

“Daniel English got four wickets bowling really well, while Mick Bury has one wicket and was unlucky not to have a couple more.

“We kept a really tight line and it forced them into mistakes and we were able to capitalise on them.”

Craigieburn celebrate a wicket on day two. Picture Shawn Smits

Craigieburn celebrate a wicket on day two. Picture Shawn Smits

Glenroy will resume at 8-108 on Saturday, with the ninth-wicket partnership at 33.

“We need to get the next two wickets and hopefully take a first-innings lead,” Pappin said.”

“We were tired and let them put on runs for the ninth wicket … they still have their captain to come and he can hold a bat.

“We have to bowl well to get first-innings points.”

With two days play remaining, the match looks likely to end in a two-innings match, making securing first-innings points vital.

Pappin said the eagles were prepared for another tough weekend.

“We know Glenroy and they don’t give up without a fight and neither do we,” he said.

“Hopefully, we get the wickets early and we can bat them out of the game.”

In the north A1 grand final, Sydenham-Hillside has claimed first-innings points against Sunshine YCW.