BEATEN grand finalist Russells Creek is more “level headed” and measured as it pursues a drought-breaking premiership.
That’s the assessment of skipper Cam Williams as his men plot redemption from a heartbreaking grand final defeat to Woodford last season.
Creek undertook a strong recruiting spree prior to its near-faultless 2016-17 campaign, netting seven division one players. Williams believes another season at the top end of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association has his men well-equipped to handle the demands of finals cricket.
The Jetty Flat-based club is preparing for a cut-throat semi-final against West Warrnambool on Saturday.
“Last season, it was more just excitement than anything. We had a fresh team and we were just on cloud nine to be up there,” Williams said.
“But now, we know each other well as good mates. I think we understand our skills and weaknesses, and while we’re still excited, we’re more level-headed this year.
“The best thing about being involved last season is that we know what it takes to win a premiership. We’re hoping to go one better and we’re chasing redemption.”
Russells Creek is yet to record a division one premiership in its 40-year history.
The former Nestles skipper revealed Creek had “peaked early” last season but felt his side was building towards its best ahead of its semi-final showdown.
Williams identified the wickets of Alastair Templeton, Jack Sunderland and Ben Threlfall as key but said he wouldn’t write off the rest of West Warrnambool’s batting order.
“It’s crucial for us to get them out cheaply but if every other player makes 20, they’ll get to 160 and have something to defend,” he said.
“We have to prize every wicket. We know that they don’t come easily in finals.”
West Warrnambool captain-coach Alastair Templeton was confident his side could defeat Russells Creek despite a loss and an outright defeat earlier in the season.
“Our recent form probably doesn’t suggest that we can, but we can beat them,” Templeton said.
“It’s really even and they’re a good team. You don’t finish second and have the success they have in the short-form unless you’re a good team. We don’t dodge that at all but finals is a different game.”