Shared title likely
By MITCHELL DALE
SAWTELL and Coffs Hotel Tigers are set to be declared joint first grade cricket premiers tomorrow if persistent rain washes out the 2004-2005 grand final.
Coffs Harbour and District Cricket Association president Ken Robinson said that because Tigers were minor premiers and Sawtell were first into the grand final, a joint-premiership would be the only fair conclusion in the event of a wash-out.
"My understanding is that the minor premiers need to be beaten to not win the title," Robinson said.
"But because Sawtell were first in, I am 99.9 percent sure it will be a joint premiership if it's washed out.
"There have been circumstances in the past where we have had joint premiers and on each occasion the minor premiers were second into the grand final."
Opposing captains Todd Gill (Sawtell) and Brad Greenshields (Tigers) yesterday said the joint-premiership scenario would not be their preferred option, but were willing to live with it.
"Really? I don't know how that would work, " Gill said when informed of the situation.
But in his typical laid-back fashion, Gill was not overly concerned about the prospect of sharing the premiership with Tigers.
"Personally I think it is a bit weird, I would rather there is a winner and loser," he said.
"But if that's the way it is, then I'm not too concerned.
"Hopefully rain won't be an issue though and we can get out there and find out who the best side is."
When asked if a joint-premiership was similar to kissing your sister ? not that the Coffs Coast Advocate condones such behaviour ? Greenshields replied: "Don't know, I've never kissed her, I don't go into any of that Queensland rubbish."
"There would certainly be better ways to finish the year," Greenshields said.
"But if that's the way it has to be...
"Naturally we would prefer to go out there and beat them and we have every intention of doing that."
But Greenshields admitted, perhaps with a touch of reverse psychology, that Sawtell would be warm favourites for the match.
"I had a look at TAB Sportsbet today and we're paying $7.50 and Sawtell are $1.09," Greenshields joked.
"Sawtell can quite rightly be walking around town thinking how many beers they are going to have on Monday.
"We are going to need to score more runs than we have in the last two matches."
There are no such worries for Sawtell in the batting stakes, with their long batting order regularly posting sizeable totals this summer.
"Our batting hasn't failed too many times this season and we bat all the way to ten, although Rick (Johnson, who will bat at 11) also calls himself a batsman," Gill said.
"Our middle order is pretty much the rep middle order, so you can't get much stronger than that."
While Greenshields acknowledged the danger posed by Sawtell's batsmen, he was quick to point out the strength of their bowling.
"Everyone talks about Sawtell's batting, but their bowling is a big strength," he said.
"The last two times we have played them they have been able to bowl miserly and keep the runs down."
However, Greenshields doesn't think his side will be facing too many deliveries from Sawtell this weekend.
"If you're coming down, bring some coins to play cards," he said.