Close-matched sides to battle it out in Grassmere final

GRASSMERE Cricket Association grand final combatants Yambuk and Killarney have credited evenness for their success this season.

Battle of the bats: Killarney captain Brett Halliwell (left) and Yambuk vice-captain Brian Wilson.

Battle of the bats: Killarney captain Brett Halliwell (left) and Yambuk vice-captain Brian Wilson.

They will test each other’s depth in the A grade decider at Purnim today and tomorrow.

The Buks are striving for their first flag since 2009-10, while Killarney is eyeing its maiden two-day premiership.

Yambuk captain Steve Gleeson and his Killarney counterpart Brett Halliwell said their teams hadn’t relied on a standout performer, instead building their premiership assaults on unpredictability.

Gleeson said it was a strength the Buks wanted to utilise in the grand final. 

“We have been giving the ball to a lot of people to have a bowl in the last two or three games to see who we could throw to in a grand final if we needed to and Colin Harwood has taken over the wicketkeeping,” he said.

“We have some flexibility in our batting order.”

The 2012-13 cricketer of the year said his undefeated Yambuk side was wary of Killarney, a team it hasn’t played since round one.

The Crabs lost their first three games before they found winning momentum. 

“We don’t feel like we’re undefeated and it won’t make any difference (to how we approach it), that’s for sure,” Gleeson said.

“You can’t pinpoint one thing in particular. There will be a lot of little things throughout the game.

“They bat deep and bowl well and we are the same.”

Gleeson said the weekend presented Yambuk with a rare opportunity — its division two and three sides will play in grand finals too.

The Crabs were bundled out of the semi-finals last year.

Halliwell said Killarney had learnt from that experience.

“It left a bad taste but we limped to the line a bit last year,” he said. “This year we lost our first three and now we’re starting to build.

“There are no excuses. We couldn’t be better placed.”

The second-year skipper, who highlighted coach Peter Hickey’s contribution, said the Crabs had gelled well this season. “Everyone is doing their own little bit when required,” he said. 

Yambuk will play Woolsthorpe in the B grade grand final today and Yambuk will meet Hawkesdale in the C grade decider tomorrow. 


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