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    IN FORM: Noradjuha-Toolondo’s Justtin Combe in action. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Horsham cricket returns with T20 rounds


Horsham Cricket Association will resume its summer season this weekend with the format it farewelled 2021, as teams clash in 20-over-a-side games.

And in the association’s flagship A Grade competition, all action will be in twilight conditions at Horsham City Oval.

The first game will be a clash between Jung Tigers and Noradjuha-Toolondo who will pad up from 7pm on Friday.

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The next day, Homers will meet West Wimmera from 6pm as Rupanyup-Minyip sits out another week with a bye.

The resumption of Horsham A Grade cricket this weekend represents the first of three weeks of T20 action in a period likely to have a major influence on the outcome of the season.

A Graders resume with the unbeaten Bullants having all but owned the first half of the season and sitting clear leaders on top of the ladder.

The team, boasting some of the most talented all-rounders in the competition, will line up against second-placed Jung Tigers, which so far has a 4-2 win-loss record and is in the process of trying to establish themselves as primary challengers.

The quickfire T20 format, apart from lending itself spectacular action with teams under pressure to immediately score runs or take wickets, also helps officials counter a potential absence of players on summer breaks.

Figures show the Bullants’ Justtin Combe, 287 runs, leading the competition’s batting aggregate, with Jung Tigers’ Grant Connelly not far behind on 245. If both are available on Friday night their batting will be game highlights on their own.

Other players to watch might be Bullants all-rounder Tony Caccaviello, who has 22 wickets against his name this season and the Tigers’ Levi Mock, who has produced notable unbeaten knocks in his last two hits.

Action on Saturday night features third-placed Homers, with a 2-3 result so far this season, up against fourth-placed West Wimmera 1-4.

The ladder, which has Rupanyup-Minyip sitting on the bottom, provides a false impression of the even nature of teams in the competition.

Homers, so long a dominating A Grade force, won’t take long in a rebuilding phase and the likes of Luke Deutscher, Paddy Mills and Jett Hopper are working well with spinner Chaminda Gamage, Logan Miller and Adam Atwood.

West Wimmera, spearheaded by Mitch Dahlenburg and Nathan Alexander and other key contributors such as Austin Smith, Brad Alexander and Tim Braendler, will be desperate for a post-Christmas win.

The Warriors and Pigeons should also produce an entertaining clash under the city oval lights.

Again, history suggests player availability will play a major role in results this weekend.

B Grade competition also resumes this weekend and C Grade starts on January 22.

This week: T-20, A Grade, Friday, 7pm, Jung Tigers v Noradjuha-Toolondo Bullants at Horsham City Oval, Saturday, 6pm, Homers v West Wimmera, Horsham City Oval; B Grade, 1pm, Rupanyup-Minyip v Blackheath-Dimboola at Minyip, Lubeck-Murtoa v Colts at Murtoa, Horsham Saints v Jung Tigers, Coughlin, Laharum, bye. 

Ladders: A Grade, Noradjuha-Toolondo 42 points, 1.69 percent; Jung Tigers 30, 1.20; Homers 24, 0.88; West Wimmera 15, 1.01; Rupanyup-Minyip 15, 0.55. 

B Grade, Colts 36, 2.62; Blackheath-Dimboola 36, 1.47; Laharum 24, 1.03; Horsham Saints 24, 0.81; Rupanyup-Minyip 18, 0.78; Jung Tigers 18, 0.62; Lubeck-Murtoa 2, 0.62.

The entire January 12, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!