Valleys aim to repeat Gympie success
GYMPIE A-grade cricket side, Valleys, set the standard last season by dominating the local competition to claim both the one-day final and overall premiership.
Led by captain Mal Gear, Valleys braved wet weather during the final to have their name engraved on the premiership trophy after winning by a commanding six wickets, denying Wests the honour.
It was a stellar effort, as only the season before Valleys had rounded out the bottom of the competition ladder in the dubious position of last place.
But that is long forgotten as, later this month, the side will attempt the challenging task of repeating its success when kick-starting its campaign against Harlequins.
Gympie Cricket Association president Bob Blackburn is tipping the season ahead, which begins on September 19 at Albert Park, will be one of the most hotly contested in recent years.
The other first-round game at Albert Park will be between Colts and Wests.
“We're looking forward to a big season of cricket,” he said.
Old rivalries are set to re-emerge as players in their whites fill Gympie's ovals once more.
While Wests will be keen to avenge a disappointing loss in last season's final, Colts are taking stock in the hope of making a bigger impact this season.
And it's not just A-grade promising fireworks.
Reserve grade is also shaping up to offer plenty of tussles on the wicket.
Blackburn is also excited about the number of junior players beginning to make their way into the senior ranks.
“The great thing about Gympie cricket is the opportunities that are made available to younger players to improve their games,” he said.
“It's the next generation and it should make things really interesting as teams settle into the season.”
The interesting mix of experience from the older players and youthful enthusiasm from the younger ones will provide for some spectacular battles, but just which team is able to emerge triumphant when the dust settles is anyone's guess at this point.