CHCA. Forget about results of the past: the Circular Head Cricket Association’s ultimate prize is now just one win away for the two final teams, Forest Stanley and Trowutta Combine.
Both sides come into the match off completely different, but equally intriguing seasons.
The experienced Forest Stanley finished their regular season in top spot on the ladder with 10 wins and two losses, rewarded with a week to rest and direct entry into the grand final.
On the other hand, newly-formed Trowutta Combine finished in third place with four wins, a draw and seven losses, causing a minor upset in last week’s semi-final to defeat Irishtown by 57 runs.
Superb knocks from Brent Burgess (73), Aaron Tuxworth (56no) and Bhodi Johnston (56) helped to set up the side for an unlikely victory, with Damien Kay (4/36) and Tuxworth (3/36) firing up with their bowling to help finish the job.
Coach Tuxworth was full of praise for his side’s efforts from the weekend, and was quick to claim the underdog status ahead of the season’s grand final.
“We batted well in partnerships [in the semi], and it’s the first time all year we got early wickets,” he said.
“The key to our innings will be our top order, if we can dictate terms.
“I think the pressure’s more on them, we’ve got nothing to lose.”
Forest Stanley coach Mitchell Bellinger was confident his team was well-prepared leading in to the decisive clash, noting the grand final atmosphere made the match feel completely different.
“I’ve been in winning and losing grand finals – most of the boys have had grand final experience,” he said.
“We’ve been batting really well over the last month or so. I’ve tried to keep our top five [batsmen] the same.”
“If we can keep their runs down [while bowling], the wickets should take care of themselves.”
A-Grade: Forest Stanley v Trowutta Combine @ Smithton No. 1, 11am
B-Grade: Forest Stanley v Marrawah @ Stanley, 11am
U/16: Marrawah v Forest Stanley @ Smithton No. 2, 11am