KEY PLANK: After making a hard hitting 94 last week, Nana Glen batsman Justin Saker will be a vital player in this weekend's grand final against Sawtell.
KEY PLANK: After making a hard hitting 94 last week, Nana Glen batsman Justin Saker will be a vital player in this weekend's grand final against Sawtell. Brad Greenshields

Lizards' late season charge to grand final

NANA Glen is trying to beat Sawtell for the first time in almost two seasons in this weekend's grand final but the Lizards may have just hit their straps at the perfect moment.

To reach this weekend's big game at Richardson Park Nana Glen made a whopping 339 last week.

Captain Josh Bartlett said the side's batting has the ability to take the game away from any opponent but has shown some backbone over the past few weeks proving they're not just a go hard or get out line-up.

"It's good to see the top order finally firing. It's been building over a few weeks now,” Bartlett said.

"I think even against Colts recently we were only chasing 130 but we batted well, showed a lot of grit and determination. I think we're coming good at the right time of year.”

This match is a repeat of last year's grand final but Bartlett is hoping it isn't a replay as 12 months ago the Lizards were dismissed for only 46.

"I think it's definitely at the back of our minds last year's grand final but we've got a few new players in our team this year,” he said.

"I think at the moment it's probably the best we've played as a group as we have at any time in the past couple of years.”

Sawtell has been undefeated all year and rightly head into the contest as the popular pick to win a third straight title.

The reigning champs haven't had the best preparation for the match though playing only a pair of one-day matches plus the T20 final since the start of February.

It's an issue club president Rod Buckle believes the Sawtell team can easily overcome.

"Our top order fired last time we played,” Buckle said.

"Our first grade team goes in fully fit besides one minor niggle which should be ok by Saturday.”

Another factor in the home team's favour this weekend is Sawtell is shooting for its 10th straight win over Nana Glen.

That's a big hoodoo for the Lizards to break.

GRAND FINAL TEAMS

SAWTELL: Richie Gallichan (capt), Tim Welsford, Trent Mitchell, Ricky Welsh, Matt Riddoch, David Angus-Crouch, Andrew Ellis, Nick Levy, Patrick Myles, Issac Hillary, David Schutt, Brendan Foote.

NANA GLEN: Josh Bartlett (capt), Brodie Bartlett, Troy Boulton, Andrew Budd, Perry Gordon, Jay Guthrie, Jack Ireland, Brent Johnson, Brock Munro, Justin Saker, Nicklaus Stanlan-Velt, Ben Watson.

GRAND FINALS

First Grade: Sawtell v Nana Glen at Richardson Park.

Second Grade: Sawtell Gold v Sawtell Blue at Richardson Park No2.

Third grade: Urunga v Nana Glen at Urunga.

Fourth grade: Northern Districts v Coffs Colts Red at Clive Joass Memorial Sports Park.



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