Pigeons tip for one-day silverware
Homers will start short-priced favourites to win a Cornellschwedes one-day crown in Horsham Cricket Association on Sunday as players get their first taste of grand-final action this season.
The Pigeons will take on Jung Tigers in a twilight encounter at Horsham City Oval in what promises to be a ripper clash that finishes under lights.
The Pigeons and Tigers will have to back up for the early dip at silverware after completing final-round home-andaway two-day games the day before.
The Tigers, sitting fourth on the season-proper ladder with a 6-6 win-loss record, finished second on the one-day ladder having won five and drawing one of their nine one-day games.
Homers on the other hand, have a 10-2 overall record and won six oneday games to sit atop both tables.
One of the big questions surrounding the twilight action surrounds whether the Tigers have enough bowling firepower to unsettle the Pigeons’ enviable batting list.
The Homers top-order reads like a representative line-up with Sandy Hodge, Simon and Chris Hopper, Lachie Jones and Jarred Combe filling the top five spots.
Then there’s Adam Atwood, Michael Langford, Craig Britten and co down the order.
And the big worry for the Tigers is that they will be without reliable veteran pace man David Puls, who will be holidaying overseas.
That places huge responsibility on the shoulders of players such as Jeremy Pietsch and young left-armers Tyler Puls and Josh Leith and veteran Marty Knight. Eyes will also be on the Tigers’ spin-bowling crew headed by Angus Adams and emerging offie Jake Mclean.
Leg-spinner Adams followed up a century the week before with a hat-trick in his team’s gripping arm-wrestle with Horsham Saints last Saturday.
The Tigers’ young batting list will also be under the microscope against the pace of Combe, accuracy of Eddie Landwehr and the high-quality finger spin of the Hopper brothers and Jones.
Adams, Conor Lawson, Sam Leith, Knight, Brett Jensz and skipper Tyler Neville all have huge assignments.
But before the one-day action starts on Sunday, players will have to concentrate on first trying to win two-day games on Saturday.
On Horsham’s Sunnyside turf, Homers will defend 6-242 against Rupanyup-minyip, a score coming mainly from the blade of Hodge, 96, Jones, 48 and Jarred Combe, 46. Hodge’s knock included five fours and three sixes.
The Blue Panthers will consider the chase well and truly on if the likes of Matt Downer, Dan Clark, Clint Midgley and Dan Schaper can set a foundation for Travis Hair, Ryan Metelmann, Paul Morgan and Leigh Funcke.
At Horsham City Oval, Horsham Saints are in the box seat with runs on the board against the Tigers, their 242 mainly coming from a defiant Justtin Combe century.
The Saints at one stage were 5-111 but Combe, with help down the order from Clint King, 25, resurrected the innings to place the contest on an even keel. His measured innings of 104 included 16 boundaries. The Tigers are 0-7 in reply. The clash at Dimboola between Blackheath-dimboola and Laharum is also in the balance with the visiting side 5-175 in a 209-run chase for victory.
At the crease for the Mountain Men are Ben Peucker, unbeaten on 20, and Damien Bunworth, 8, after solid knocks from Daniel Griffiths, 67, Brad Brotherton, 38, and Mal Adams, 31.
Earlier on Saturday, the Bulls, with Lachie Watts making 48, Elliot Braithwaite 47, Sam Polack, 36, and Darren Jones, 34 not out, declared with seven wickets down.
Mibus and Brotherton captured wickets each.
Horsham association semi-finals are scheduled for next week. six
SAFE: Sandy Hodge, batting for Homers, squeezes one past Ryan Metelmann, Rupanyupminyip, at Sunnyside on Saturday. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER