NEW Koroit coach Mark Jones says the Saints are relishing their chance to take on the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association heavyweights.
Koroit is winless from four matches in the Twenty20 tournament, having played Allansford, Merrivale, Nestles and Port Fairy.
But Jones, a former Port Fairy all-rounder, said he was encouraged by the progress his men had made over the first two days of the tournament.
The Saints managed just 46 against Merrivale and 8-77 against Allansford at Allansford Recreation Reserve on day one.
They were markedly better at J. J. Colledge Oval on day two, reaching 100 in losses to Nestles — with four balls to go — and Port Fairy. Jones said Koroit, the only non-division one club in the WDCA, went back to basics with its approach against the Factory and the Pirates.“From last week to this week there was massive improvement, both with the bat and the ball. That’s a great sign for us,” he said.
“Last week we had Merrivale and Allansford, they were very handy. We didn’t know what to do.
“We touched on it at training this week, went back to basics. You don’t have to smash every ball to the boundary.
“Everyone took that on board and we batted a lot better.” Jones was adamant a young Koroit side — more than half is under 20 — would benefit from playing in the tournament.
“It gives the younger guys a view of what it takes to play in that top division,” he said.
Jones said the Saints were using the short-form matches to prepare for their division two campaign.
“We’ve had our aim to bat the 20 overs and for the guys up the top of the order to get as much time in the middle as they can,” he said.
“We’ve taken the score right out of the scheme of things.
“Then when you get your chance with the ball, bowl your line and length, do all the basic things down pat.”
Craig Tobias, his teenage sons Jonty and Ethan and Matt Webster have been the standout players for Koroit so far.
Jones has also led from the front batting in the middle order and taking the new ball.