Skipper backs in Bookaar

BOOKAAR captain Fraser Lucas is quietly confident his young side can book a South West Cricket grand final berth today.

It plays Pomborneit, which is aiming for back-to-back grand finals, in a cut-throat semi-final at Camperdown.

Noorat meets reigning premier Mortlake in the other semi-final at Terang.

Lucas, 20, believes Bookaar can celebrate its first finals appearance since the 2010-11 season with a win.

“We are pretty confident in our own ability that we can beat Pombo tomorrow,” he said.

“As a young side and having obviously not played finals for three or four years now, I feel we don’t have anything to lose.

“I’d prefer the boys to go out and enjoy themselves and win that way than put pressure on themselves.”

The second-year skipper said Bookaar’s resurgence was reward for hard work and praised veteran Simon Baker for blooding young players.

“It means a lot. For a young club it gives everyone that extra boost,” Lucas said.

“To get where we are now is a real credit to all the boys for putting the hard yards in and copping heavy losses.”

Lucas said nullifying Pomborneit’s renowned batting prowess would be imperative.

“If we are to win we have to get Pombo out cheaply and restrict them as much as we can,” he said.

“If you look at the two sides, they are a much better batting side than us with experience.

“We are stronger and have more depth in our bowling attack, minus a spinner compared to them.”

Lucas said the key to Bookaar’s success this season was its even contributions.

It will take a full-strength line-up into the semi-final.

“Everyone has popped up when they’ve needed to,” he said.

“As a team, despite losing last week, we go in in good shape.

“Everyone is either taking wickets or making runs. All I am looking for is a consistent effort.”

Mortlake captain Todd Lamont said the Cats had found form at the right time after an indifferent season.

They have defeated Pomborneit and Bookaar the past two weeks and enter their semi-final against Noorat riding a wave of confidence.

“We haven’t had our best year so far,” he said.

“If anything the other teams have caught up a bit.”

Lamont said the Cats faced the possibility of missing out on the finals and worked their way through patchy form.

“We had a pretty ordinary year up until the last three weeks,” he said.

“We dropped quite a few games we shouldn’t have.

“Our form the last three weeks is good so hopefully we have turned the corner.

“It got to the point where we needed to win — we weren’t likely to cruise through and people needed to step up.”

Lamont said Mortlake didn’t feel external pressure as it strives for back-to-back flags.

“In finals you feel extra pressure. It doesn’t matter if you’re the underdog or the favourite,” he said.

The skipper said opening bat Josh Barr and all-rounder Shane Slater had been among the Cats’ best performers of late.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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