AS bowlers, gunning for ducks is imperative. But West Warrnambool brothers Jye and Jed Turland took that aim beyond opposition batsmen before they geared up for last Saturday’s cut-throat semi-final against Woodford.
The pair maintained their yearly tradition of seeing in the duck hunting season with a bang, spending the morning with some mates shooting game.
That Jye even turned up for the semi-final says a lot about his approach to cricket this season.
The 18-year-old off-spinner/batsman will line up in his first division one grand final today against Dennington after cementing a spot in the side with a string of impressive performances.
Jye said in previous years he would have been more inclined to go hunting than return for a game of cricket.
“I have said that a few times,” he said.
“But I’ve held my spot in the team and I didn’t want to let anyone down.”
Ironically, he was let-down by the weather, with not a ball being bowled in the semi-final.
Jye and his 20-year-old brother Jed are among three sets of siblings in West’s line-up today. They join veterans Leigh and Simon Johnson and skipper Michael Threlfall and his younger brother Ben.
For the Turland boys, playing alongside each other on the big stage is nothing new. They were part of Warrnambool’s senior Hampden football league premiership last September and find themselves within sight of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association’s holy grail this weekend.
“It’s good to be playing with Jed, his energy is good wherever he is. I really enjoy playing with my brother, it’s good fun. It shows how good a club West is. It brings everyone together and we are a real family-oriented club.”
While the Johnsons were part of West’s drought-breaking premiership two summers ago, only Michael Threlfall and Jed Turland were alongside them.
Jye, a talented allrounder, was an opening batsman in juniors but with West’s division one side having a strong batting line up, is in the side more for his bowling.
He has taken 14 wickets at an average of 9.7 this season and like Jed (16 wickets at 10.2), he has had limited time in the middle with the bat.
“I wanted to work on my off-spin. Paul Campbell was the other spinner and he wasn’t there last year so they needed someone. But he came back and bowled well and because I used to open the batting, they wanted me to give a bit of batting depth and just focus on my bowling and be able to bat at the end.
“It doesn’t worry me (having limited batting opportunities), as long as we are making the runs and winning.”