Merewether have more than just a total to defend against Wallsend at Townson Oval on Saturday.
The Lions will be out to make 156 enough on day two of their round-nine encounter and maintain a top-four spot on the Newcastle District Cricket Association competition ladder.
Having moved into third position before Christmas, Merewether (34) are one point ahead of current opponents Wallsend (33) while another four teams below sit within striking distance.
Lions captain Simon Moore admits it's "pretty congested there" on the overall standings, making this result even more important approaching the business end of the 2019-20 season.
"The conditions will probably be similar to last week with this weather about so there might be a little bit in it," Moore said. "It wasn't easy to bat early on last week, but in saying that our middle order all got starts and no one went on with it. We've just got to bowl well now to give ourselves a chance."
Merewether all-rounder Josh Geary returns from the Australian Country Championships.
Wallsend have the full compliment of 90 overs available. The Lions were dismissed in the 70th and final over of day one having previously lost 20 overs due to rain delays.
Elsewhere and eighth-placed University (29) will be out to maximise their advantage over fellow semi contenders Belmont (30) at Cahill Oval having already collected first-innings points on Saturday. The Sea Dragons have 6-120 on the board with a 31-run lead after the hosts managed just 89.
Outright leaders Wests (40) resume at 2-39 with Puru Gaur and Josh Emerton at the crease, requiring a further 70 runs to pass Cardiff-Boolaroo's (29) total of 108 at Pasterfield Sports Complex.
Second-placed Hamilton-Wickham (35) are out to snap a two-game losing streak when they chase the seven wickets required against Stockton and Northern Districts (18) at Lynn Oval. The visitors scored 140 and the Seagulls went to stumps at 3-6.
City (15) have eight overs left to bat against Charlestown (33), who are equal fourth on the ladder, after finishing 7-166 at Kahibah Oval last weekend.
Waratah-Mayfield (17) are 1-19 trying to reel in last-placed Toronto's 238 at Ron Hill Oval. The defending premiers have 14 points.
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