The South Eastern Times : March 12th 2015
22 SPORT Footballers and Black Caps in enticing clash Millicent District cricket grand final has spice TH email@example.com T . “FRED” ORT Footballers and Black Caps in enticing clash Millicent District SPORT Footballers and Black Caps in enticing clash Millicent District cricket grand final has spice TH firstname.lastname@example.org T . “FRED” of of venue has added an extra dose of spice to Saturday’s of the Millicent Association. ning the minor pre- miership and the qualifying final, the Millicent Footballers won’t be playing the season decider on their home ground of Norm Facey Oval. Association officials have determined that the season’s number one match should be played at the number one venue which is the main oval at McLaughlin Park. It has an elevated and undercover viewing area with a TV set, toilets and a licensed bar. This oval also happens to be the home ground of the Millicent Black Caps who are the minor premiers and the opponents of the Millicent Footballers. The home ground advantage is not as pronounced in cricket as in other sports. In any case, McLaughlin Park has an entirely different outlook for batsmen facing up to the south as the decades-old and towering pine trees were cut down in January. The obvious attraction of Norm Facey Oval for the Millicent Footballers is that it is slightly smaller and with a much faster outfield. This would be advantageous to their strong batting line-up. Past meetings SOME clues to the outcome of this match can be gleaned from the past three meetings of the two teams. Exactly a year ago on the main McLaughlin Park, they contested the grand final which Millicent Black Caps all-rounder Luke Cushion made his own. After blasting out six of the opposition with his fast bowling, he made a match-winning score of 80 batting at number six. Without Cushion’s efforts, the Millicent Footballers would have had an extra sheen added to their 50 year celebrations. The Footballers and the Black Caps met again in the opening match of this season at McLaughlin Park on October 25 and visiting batsman Bronte Grosser was the star. He made a superb hundred but had to retire at this score as required by the Association bylaws which then applied. The Footballers made 215 but it could have been 250 if Grosser had not been compelled to retire. In reply, the Black Caps struggled to 144. By the time the two teams met again last month at Norm Facey Oval, both sides had lost their captains. John Facey took charge of Footballers after Glen Gascoyne returned home to Mildura while Pat Lawlor became the Number One Black Cap after Sid Jain had a work transfer to Port Hedland in Western Australia. The two captains strangely agreed to abandon play after some midafternoon showers. ON THE DEFENCE: Sam Kent defends this shot in a recent match. CONSISTENT WICKETS: Mount Burr’s Jeremy Peters has been a consistent wicket taker this season. The conditions eventually became playable but players had been denied batting, bowling and fielding opportunities. Players to watch FACEY has been the outstanding all-rounder in the association with 539 runs and 11 wickets, Grosser has two centuries in his 377 runs and teen opener/wicket-keeper Sam Kent has 386 runs. At the age of 50, Ian Ferguson leads the bowlers with 20 wickets and 168 handy runs in the lower order. For the Black Caps, there is no player to replace the multi-talented Cushion who has devoted the past summer to watching his two young sons play junior baseball. The better performers have been Lawlor (288 runs), Tantanoola recruit Josh Mason (326 runs), and opener Mike Reilly (236 runs). Luke Stephens and Michael Gibson have headed the pace attack with 19 and 20 wickets respectively but the club bowling trophy will probably go to slow bowler Dave Willis with his 22 scalps. Other players to watch are Steve Duldig (Footballers) and Jeremy Hales (Millicent Black Caps). Although handy performers in their own right, Duldig and Hales will be playing for the Millicent Football Club on Saturday morning in the Elastoplast Cup in Mount Gambier. The verdict CRICKET has been all about the battle between leather and willow for centuries. The 2014/15 season decider has one team which is stronger in batting (Footballers) and the other which has 22 - The South Eastern Times, Thursday, March 12, 2015 a better attack (Black Caps). The venue probably won’t have any impact on the outcome. This match is so finely balanced, it will come down to the toss. Whoever wins it will be in the box seat. Division 2 FATE has dealt a good hand to the Robe Cricket Club which will play Mount Burr for the Division 2 title on Norm Facey Oval. The seasiders have had to forfeit one match at Rendelsham and needed top-up players in another game at this venue. The club also strangely agreed to a “wash-out” against the Millicent Black Caps at McLaughlin Park in November when other sports were playing nearby. It has been hard to document the progress of Robe through 2014-15 as their match results have frequently been missing from the computerised scoring system. All those controversies will be put aside on Saturday as the team prepares to take on the might of the Mozzies. The club boasts one of the best all-rounders in the competition in its skipper Nathan Muhovics, Jeremy Peters is a consistent wicket-taker while there is ample batting power from the blades of Rob Francis and Craig Kuiper. The seasiders need to get runs on the board with Riley Dickinson and skipper Jordan Pettit expected to do the bulk of the scoring. Pettit also takes on the roles of wicketkeeper and bowler. Come what may in the cricket grand final, the football teams of the two towns will meet again at Robe on Good Friday. WAITING PATIENTLY: Pat Lawlor keeps a close eye on the incoming bowler. www.thesoutheasterntimes.com.au KEEPING A STRAIGHT BAT: Rob Francis will be looking to lead from the front in the Division 2 grand final for Mount Burr.
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