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    Chris Hopper.

Horsham cricket ‘Seeding’ experiment

By DEAN LAWSON

A new ‘seeding’ system is set to go under the spotlight in Horsham Cricket Association this season.

The association has taken on a role as handicapper and purposely manipulated a season draw in an effort to provide the best chance for an even competition.

The Horsham association A and B grade seasons start with one-day games on Saturday and a C Grade season will start the following week.



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The flagship A Grade competition will feature eight teams, including last season’s top-three B Grade teams – Colts, Noradjuha-Toolondo
 and Blackheath-Dimboola.

The other teams are regular A Grade outfits Homers, Jung Tigers, Horsham Saints, Rupanyup-Minyip
and Laharum.

West Wimmera slips back to B Grade where it joins Lubeck-Murtoa, Jung Tigers, Homers, Horsham Saints, Quantong and Rupanyup-Minyip.

C Grade teams include Horsham Saints, Laharum, Homers, West Wimmera, Lubeck-Murtoa, Jung Tigers, Colts and Blackheath-
Dimboola.

 

Horsham Cricket Association president Tony Wills.
Tony Wills.

 

Association president Tony Wills said the seeding system was designed to provide teams stepping up into the top grade an enhanced opportunity to be competitive.

“We are attempting to preserve the integrity and longevity of the game in our region and we think this just might work,” he said.

“It’s from left field, outside the square a bit and the board sees this as a step forward.”

The seeding process involves graduate teams avoiding playing established A Grade teams in two-day games during the season.

All teams will play each other in all one-day and T20 matches.

“It’s about giving the teams stepping up a chance to get settled and be competitive,” Mr Wills said.

“We don’t want teams to feel they are out of their depth. 

“We’ve basically picked up an idea presented by Chris Hopper a few years ago and tweaked it a bit. 

“We will look at it this season to see if it works. We need to promote cricket and generate more interest back into our wonderful game and can’t be seen to be sitting on hands. 

“Promotion and relegation of teams has been an issue in the past so we have decided to take the bull by the horns.”

Mr Wills appealed to people across the region to re-engage with
and support district clubs and teams.

“We want the cricket-loving public to get on board with us,” he said.

“We’re only the guardians of the game after all, and we encourage people, be they families of players or others just with a general interest to follow these teams and players.

“We have people getting out on weekends, having a dip and playing good cricket. 

“They deserve people to come out of the woodwork and barrack for them.”

In Horsham A Grade, matches launching the season on Saturday feature competition powerhouse Homers meeting Horsham Saints at Horsham Sunnyside, Jung Tigers taking on Noradjuha-Toolondo Bullants at Horsham Community Oval in Dimboola Road, Rupanyup-Minyip playing Colts at Rupanyup and Laharum tackling Blackheath-Dimboola at Laharum.

B Grade: West Wimmera v Rupanyup-Minyip at Nhill; Quantong v Horsham Saints, Lubeck-Murtoa v Jung Tigers, Homers, bye. 

 

• Wimmera-Mallee cricket will return with a round of one-day matches on Saturday.

Reigning A Grade premier Jeffcott will travel to take on Marnoo in a rematch of last season’s grand final, which it won by 106 runs.

Other A Grade matches will see St Arnaud host Birchip at King Georges Park, Donald travel to Brim to face Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills, and Wycheproof-Narraport at its Wycheproof home to take on St Mary’s.

The entire October 9, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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