Gympie Colts' message to Murgon before grand final standoff
CRICKET: The Gympie Colts will attempt to wrest the Gympie Regional Cricket Association A Grade premiership from the South Burnett region's grip when they face reigning champs Murgon in the 2018-19 grand final today.
Led by captain and key bowler Anthony Smerdon, the Colts will enjoy home-field advantage, despite Murgon finishing on top of the table and claiming the minor premiership.
An experienced and battle-tested Murgon side will also take confidence from their semi-final clash with the Colts, when they won by 20 runs and sent the Gympie side to a sudden-death eliminator against the Harlequins.
Coming off a comfortable seven-wicket victory over their fellow-Gympie side in the preliminary final, Smerdon said the Colts would be bullish about their chances on the last and most important day of the season calendar.
Smerdon said his side would need to capitalise on their strength and consistency with the ball to pressure the Murgon batting order.
"Bowling them out is obviously going to be the key, batting is their strength and they've shown that all season,” Smerdon said.
"We need to do the best we can to limit them to a smaller total, which we've done before.
"Fielding is another big thing. We've been able to hold our catches for most of the season and we need to make sure we do that on Saturday. We've made a few mistakes in the field recently, so we'll need to make sure we limit those.”
The Colts stormed through Murgon's usually potent batsmen for just 46 runs in a comprehensive Round 12 win, including league-leading run scorer Jason Webber for 10.
Opening bowler Dean Chandler, who has 14 wickets and a five-wicket haul in seven matches since crossing to the Colts from the Gympie Gold XI, echoed his captain's call for consistency in the decider.
"If we bowl good line and length, keep tight areas and take our chances when they come we'll be pretty close,” Chandler said.
"We dropped six catches the other week, it doesn't help when you're dropping them.
"It's about maintaining what we've been doing all year, the boys have been playing well all year and we're hoping the consistency pays off.”
Chandler pointed to teammates Chris Hughes (league leader for most wickets), Sam Lang and Andrew 'Chappy' Mallett as the Colts' standout performers throughout the season.
GYMPIE COLTS GRAND FINAL TEAM
1. Chris Hughes, all-rounder
Runs: 212. HS: 80. Wickets: 29. Best: 4/37.
2. Gary McClintock, all-rounder
Runs: 162. HS: 49. Wickets: 9. Best: 2/26.
3. Shane Schmidt, batsman
Runs: 133. HS: 43. Catches: 3.
4. Dean Walker, wicketkeeper-batsman
Runs: 178. HS: 67. Catches: 3.
5. Jye Robinson, batsman
Runs: 186. HS: 47. Catches: 4.
6. Matthew Tramacchi, bowler (12th man)
Wickets: 8. Best: 4/10.
7. Guy Preston, batsman
Runs: 125. HS: 68. Catches: 4.
8. Anthony Smerdon (c), bowler
Runs: 117. HS: 23. Wickets: 22. Best: 3/16.
9. Brandon Sauer, batsman
Runs: 249. HS: 57. Catches: 8.
10. Dean Chandler, bowler
Wickets: 14. Best: 5/14.
11. Sam Lang, bowler
Wickets: 19. Best: 6/10.
12. Andrew Mallett, all-rounder
Runs: 128. HS: 31. Wickets: 19. Best: 5/16.
THE MURGON DANGER MEN
Jason Webber, batsman
Runs: 499 (Most in league). HS: 108. Wickets: 6. Best: 2/6.
Ashley Sippel, all-rounder
Runs: 313. HS: 141. Wickets: 17. Best: 5/19.
Graham Brown (c), all-rounder
Runs: 133. HS: 78. Wickets: 24. Best: 5/5.
Gympie Colts v Murgon face off for the Gympie Region Cricket Association A-Grade Premiership at Kozminsky Oval, One Mile Sports Complex at 12.30pm