Wanderers eye off GF rematch
ROUND one of the 2018-19 cricket season is here and the Wangaratta and District Cricket Association has set a great opening match with last season’s grand final teams facing off.
Beechworth will travel to Yarrawonga for a showdown with the Lakers.
The two sides clashed in a rain abandoned grand final in March and with Yarrawonga Mulwala the higher finishing side; the Lakers were named the premiers.
With solid training numbers, former Wanderers’ coach Mark Butters said training had been focused on getting players’ bodies into condition to play the game.
“Until daylight savings kicks in there isn’t much light and you’re trying your hardest to get everyone a hit,” Butters said.
“It hasn’t been anything too specific just yet; you generally have to wait until games start before you can knuckle down on areas you need to improve.
“It has been hard to field; we train indoors some nights to work on our fielding but we can’t do too much.”
With the Surrey brothers set to play another big part of the batting line up and with Butters and Richie Worcester to take the new ball the Wanderers are always thereabouts come finals time; with a premiership and a grand final berth in the past two seasons Beechworth has what it takes.
Without the coaching mantle, Butters is looking forward to just being a player.
“I will naturally still help out around the club when I am there and I will look to help out as much as I can on game day,” he said.
“I am looking forward to just being a player.
“Brenton (Surrey) can still come to me and bounce ideas off me.”
For the Lakers, star batsman Josh Lawrence has taken over as captain/coach with last year’s co-captain Reid Clarke to be his vice-captain in the upcoming season.
The loss of former co-captain Matt Knight will hurt the Lakers, but with Matt Casey, Clarke and Lawrence all capable of putting together big scores Yarrawonga Mulwala still have plenty of offensive weapons.
The Lakers still boast the strongest bowling unit in the competition with Matt McCabe, James Irvine and Will Sharp all expected to play big roles in the upcoming season.
Benalla Bushrangers takes on Greta at Benalla Gardens Oval, with the Blues out to get their season off to a positive start.
“It was a very close game when we played each other last year,” Greta captain Matt Gathercole said.
“You hear snippets about how other teams are tracking, but you don’t know how they will compete until you actually play them.”
It will be Declan Martel’s club debut tomorrow with the Guernsey import and his spin bowling set to feature.