Underdogs can still bark
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
ON the surface, this weekend's major semi-final looks like the classic David vs Goliath battle.
Sawtell, the reigning champions, the most respected team in the competition and clear premiership favourites against Nana Glen, the team from the country with a middle order that has barely put up a fight all summer.
But that's on the surface. Scratch a little deeper and you'll find that this David is armed with more than a shepherds stick, a few smooth rocks and a sling.
The only loss that Sawtell has suffered this season was at the hands of Nana Glen when they last met and if you ask Lizards skipper Andrew Mainey what chance his team has of taking the quick route to the grand final, he'll be the first to tell you his team has more than a pop-gun attack to throw at Sawtell.
"On paper we'd have one of the best teams in the comp," he declared.
"The thing that I like about us is that we're unpredictable. On our day when we're playing well than it's a case of 'look out'.
"On the other days though we're usually heading to the pub early."
Nana Glen are heading into the clash at Richardson Park at full strength while the reigning premiers will be without the bowling services of Simon Bathgate.
Sawtell have been in the enviable position of knowing that they'll be in the finals for quite a while now and their captain Todd Gill thinks that this can only hold them in good stead for the next three weeks.
"A bit of fun is always good to have at the end of the season while all the other teams have had to take it seriously," he explained.
"It's the business end of the season so it's time to put our heads down now.
"Actually it's the start of a new season, a completely different comp."