WHILE the Bushrangers' dream of making the grand final appears forlorn, one man who hasn't lost hope is their skipper Marty Maloney.
The Hervey Bay-based Bushrangers sit fourth on the Sugar Cities Challenge competition ladder and need to win their last two games against Across The Waves on Saturday and frontrunner Brothers just to keep their chances afloat.
Maloney said he hasn't given up hope of playing in the Bushrangers' first Fraser Coast Bundaberg A-grade decider.
"We will need the bonus point (against ATW) and let it sort itself out and hopefully it falls our way," he said.
The Bushrangers' season has been a rollercoaster ride full of highs and lows, but Maloney was ruing last week's 25-run defeat to second-placed Past Grammars.
"I think we can beat any side in the comp and losing last week without one bloke was still a pretty good effort," he said.
"We proved we can be competitive...we just needed to go a bit harder with the bat."
The Bushrangers head into Saturday's showdown with ATW at Torquay's N.E. McLean Oval with the psychological edge having beaten the Bundaberg team by six wickets in round four.
Maloney was last week praising the effort of his bowlers for restricting Past Grammars to 213 from 45 overs.
If the Bushrangers win today, they will need to expose ATW's vulnerable batting line-up, which was routed for a dismal 49 by Brothers last week - the lowest total in this year's competition.
However, the hosts will be without the services of Queensland Country under-19 representative Tom Freshwater.
Fraser Coast's other team, Past Grammars, can take a giant step towards progressing to their third straight grand final with victory against Norths in Bundaberg today.