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02 December 2020
By DEAN LAWSON
One of the great rivalries in Wimmera sport will continue in Stawell on Sunday when Grampians and Horsham cricket teams clash at Central Park.
Representative sides taking part in the 40-over-a-side match from noon reflect a snapshot of the best players in the respective competitions.
In fact the line-ups include some the best assembled and in-form players from both camps for many seasons, guaranteeing an intense and willing struggle.
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The teams feature run-makers and wicket-takers aplenty with broad representation across a variety of clubs.
Swifts-Great Western’s hard-hitting opening batsman and wicket-keeper Sam Cocks is captaining the Grampians team.
He has association leading run-scorer for the past two seasons, Youth’s Club’s Nic Baird, with him at the top of the order and both will attack the bowling.
Another prolific run-maker Jarrod Blandford from Buangor-Tatyoon has returned from a stint with East Ballarat and has put up his hand, Swifts-Great Western opener Tom Eckel will be chasing runs and another regular opener Clayton Mackley, Pomonal, will be hard to dislodge if he gets set.
Rick Peters, who made a match-winning 90 for Swifts-Great Western in last year’s Grampians final, will be dangerous, as will his Combine team-mate Charlie Nield.
All-rounder Matt Heffer, while a regular wicket-taker for Swifts-Great Western, is also making runs.
Also likely to have an impact with the ball will be St Andrews left-armer Adam Haslett, Jay Moody, who lets rip for Swifts-Great Western, and Chad Gilmour, another Combine representative and left-armer capable of generating pace and bounce.
Another young quick trying to unsettle the Horsham list will be teenager and burgeoning leader Lachie Dalkin from Pomonal.
The visiting Horsham team is unlikely to be intimidated considering the outfit is playing under joint captains Nathan Alexander and Matt Combe.
Alexander from West Wimmera is a highly capable all-rounder with a licence to get the scorecard ticking over and Combe, Noradjuha-Toolondo, is an elegant stroke-maker and Victoria Country representative.
Joining them in the top order will be West Wimmera’s Mitch Dahlenburg, coming off a power of runs and Justtin Combe, who thrives in pressure situations and loves representative cricket.
Horsham also has arguably the best new-ball operator in its competition in Noradjuha-Toolondo and Victoria Country representative Tony Caccaviello.
Homers’ tearaway outswinger Mohan Bandara looms as a potential wildcard for Horsham and his Pigeons off-spinning team-mate Chaminda Gamage, armed with variations in pace, will be worth watching just for his fielding.
Horsham’s reigning Cec Hopper medallist Mark Mbofana from Rupanyup-Minyip will enjoy a step-up in standard and Jung Tigers captain and well-rounded cricketer Angus Adams will provide strength in the top order and versatility with his leg-spinners.
Homers line-and-length specialist all-rounder Craig Britten will also attack the stumps and provide runs if needed. And then there is Nathan Koenig, an unorthodox and damaging batsman and naturally gifted wicketkeeper and teenage Homers project player Jett Hopper.
Horsham association president Chris Hopper said he was excited about the game considering the lack of senior representative cricket on the schedule.
“Some of these guys playing from both sides are going to be worth watching, especially in this type of format,” he said.
“What could be better in cricket in our part of the state than a Horsham team up against a Grampians team. It’s fantastic.”
• It will be a big day of cricket at Central Park. Action starts at 9.30am with two Wimmera Girls Cricket League 20-over-a-side matches.
Two games will be on the oval with Stawell Strikers taking on Wimmera Mallee Belles on the turf and Wimmera Roos playing Horsham Sixers on an artificial roll-out track.
The entire December 2, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!