Wan­der­ers eye off GF re­match

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport -

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.

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