Battle for 2019-20 Gympie cricket title heats up
CRICKET: The battle has begun for the Gympie Regional Cricket Association 2019–20 title.
Reigning premiers Colts and runners-up Murgon are leading the charge again this season but the third-placed Kenilworth and fourth-placed Harlequins may have what it takes to spoil the party.
The first semi-final is the 2018–19 grand final replay of Colts battling table leaders Murgon.
“I do not think it matters how many runs you score, Murgon are going to be the team to beat and we just need to play good-quality cricket,” Colts captain Guy Preston said.
“We have been a team of bowlers but we have a strong batting team. On Saturday Sam Lang made 121, Dean Walker was 74 not out and Brandon Sauer made 20-odd.
“Chris Hughes, Dean Chandler and Chappy (Andrew Mallett) will be strong for us.”
Preparation hadn’t been ideal for Murgon going into the finals but captain Ashley “Lizard” Sippel said the side knew their jobs and the home ground advantage would be a bonus.
“Our players are used to our ground so it will suit us better,” he said.
“It is a bit slower with more bounce.
“We have a strong all-round team that has shown depth with batting and bowling. We are missing a couple of players in the batting line-up but myself, Web (Jason Webber) and Dwayne (Malone) will need to step up.
“It has not been an ideal preparation, with washouts we haven’t played a lot of cricket.”
A week off to prepare for the grand final is on the line but Murgon isn’t looking too far ahead.
“We are just taking each week as it comes,” Sippel said.
“We will worry about this weekend first.
“We will be missing our opening bowler, Ryan Sommerfeld, but if we have to play next week we will have a few back. Hopefully the whole team puts in so we are not relying on one person to do it.”
It will be a fight for survival between Harlequins and Kenilworth, who need a win to continue their finals campaign.
This will be the first time on the Kenilworth wicket for the Harlequins but president and captain Shaun Ringuet isn’t worried.
“I think it will not be a big drama, the Kenilworth pitch has had a good track record with a few runs being scored so I don’t think it will be too bad,” he said.
“Our batsmen need to have some good D (defence) to then get the W (win).
“Mackenzie Reen has taken a few wickets against Kenilworth, that should give him a bit of confidence.”
Quins had a bit of a slump but Ringuet said the side still had form, with a few players who could lead the charge.
“We have played on tricky wickets, we just have to bat sensibly,” he said.
Kenilworth’s inaugural year in the Gympie comp has been competitive.
“We snuck in there to the top four,” captain Steve Ledger said.
“We hoped we would have been here at the start of the season. I have been the top run-scorer and Jason Woods has been one of the leading wicket-takers. Tim Kross is one of the top all-rounders.”
Murgon v Colts at Murgon Sports Grounds and Kenilworth v Quins at Kenilworth Showgrounds at 12.30pm.