Preview of the Bendigo District Cricket Association semi-final between Golden Square and Eaglehawk.
GOLDEN SQUARE v EAGLEHAWK at MyJet Oval
UMPIRES: Steve Patten and Russell McGibbon.
LAST TIME: November 9-16, 2013: Golden Square 6-214 (S. Johnson 45, T. Brown 3-48) & 2-35 d Eaglehawk 128 (L. Jones 50, S. Johnson 6-33).
SINCE 2000: Eaglehawk 15; Golden Square 8.
GOLDEN SQUARE (12-1):
Tim Wood (c) (407 runs).
Luke Baird (76 runs, 31 wkts).
Jamie Bysouth (53 runs, 12 wkts).
Darren Clutton (4 runs, 16 wkts).
Grant Connelly (328 runs, 18 wkts).
Jake Higgins (187 runs, 20 dismissals).
Jason Johnson (389 runs).
Scott Johnson (433 runs, 14 wkts).
John Lalor (227 runs).
Scott Trollope (241 runs).
Scott Woodman (88 runs, 7 wkts).
Jason Abbott (c) (326 runs).
Todd Brown (41 runs, 9 wkts).
Zac East (153 runs).
Matt Fitt (149 runs, 8 dismissals).
Cory Jacobs (209 runs, 23 wkts).
Cam McGlashan (120 runs, 12 wkts).
Aaron Monro (195 runs, 17 wkts).
Andrew Smith (311 runs, 23 wkts).
Shane Taylor (133 runs, 10 wkts).
Richard Tibbett (7 runs, 0 wkts).
Anthony West (359 runs).
GOLDEN Square will be striving to carry its dominant form of the home and away season into the finals when it tackles old rivals Eaglehawk at MyJet Oval.
Square has been the pace-setter all season, having top position as good as locked up at Christmas and only losing one game.
Although, that one loss was against Strathdale-Maristians last week.
It has been an even spread of contributors who helped Square to their impressive 12-1 season.
The side has plenty of depth with both bat and ball, with five players who have made at least 240 runs and six who have taken at least 10 wickets.
Eaglehawk will carry in the underdog tag, but the Hawks will hit the finals with confidence, having lost just once in their past six games.
One of the big knocks on the Hawks - last year’s runners-up - has been their inconsistent batting, but they appear to have got over that hurdle, while the return of Richard Tibbett to the side gives them an X-factor with the ball.
THE MEN IN CHARGE: Tim Wood (Golden Square) – “Everything that we’ve done in the home and away season pales into insignificance now.
“The main thing for us this season has been really good team efforts.
“We haven’t had too many standout players, apart from probably Luke Baird with the ball, but we’ve managed to win games with all 11 players contributing.”
Jason Abbott (Eaglehawk) – “We’re under no illusion that we’ll go in as massive underdogs with Golden Square only losing one game and being the standout side all season.
“But we’ve got some reasonable form coming into this game. We’ve bowled and fielded really well over the past few games so hopefully, we can put a fair bit of pressure on them.”
LUKE WEST’S VERDICT: Golden Square. Square deserve clear favourtism in this clash after a dominant home and away season in which they finished 17 points clear at the top of the ladder.
Square bat right down to No.11 and with more variety with the ball - namely two spinners - I’ll back them to win.