KANGAROO Flat captain Brent Hamblin says the Roos have moved on from last week’s batting disaster against Bendigo United and are focused on a fresh start in this weekend’s Bendigo District Cricket Association semi-final.
The Roos will make their return to the BDCA finals for the first time in nine years when they host the Redbacks at Champions IGA Oval.
The two sides met in the final home and away round in which the Redbacks dished out a 134-run hiding to the Roos, who were bowled out last Saturday for just 87 in reply to Bendigo United’s 9-221 at Harry Trott Oval.
“We definitely got a lesson off Bendigo United last week and full credit to them… they deserved to take all 10 wickets,” Hamblin said on Thursday.
“But being such a young side, we have kept it really positive this week. Everyone has been really upbeat at training and we’re looking forward to getting back on our home ground where we have played really well this season.”
This weekend’s clash between the Redbacks and Roos could certainly be billed as a battle of the Master v Apprentice.
Bendigo United is playing in its 15th-consecutive finals series and has six players – Heath Behrens (six), Nick Crawford (six), captain Leigh McDermott (four), Marcus Smalley (three), Miggy Podosky (two) and Harry Dongean (two) – who have played in multiple BDCA premierships.
Of the Kangaroo Flat side that will take to the field this weekend, only veteran Adam Burns has played in a BDCA first XI final.
“I guess it’s a big unknown this week with only Burnsy having played in a first XI final before,” said Hamblin, who has been one of the Roos’ standouts this season with 24 wickets and 160 runs.
“But I know all the boys are keen as mustard to get out there on the weekend and throw everything we’ve got at BUCCs.”
The clash will pit what is the BDCA’s No.1 batting side (Bendigo United) against the No.1 ranked bowling team (Kangaroo Flat).
Since the Roos last played finals in 2008 when they lost the grand final to Bendigo United on a QEO green-top, the club has built from within.
Apart from recruits Dylan Gibson and Nathan Stubbings, the rest of the team that will take on the Redbacks has played junior cricket with Kangaroo Flat.
“If you look at the demographic of the group and the age of the team now, it probably explains a bit as to where we’re at,” Hamblin said.
“The core of the group is around that 24-to-25 age and played a bit of cricket together now for a few years and it’s a good mix.
“We’ve done the hard yards over the past few years and we’d like to think we’ve still got our best cricket ahead of us.”
In the weekend’s other semi-final, Eaglehawk hosts Strathdale-Maristians at Canterbury Park in which the opposing captains are brothers – Cory Jacobs (Hawks) and Linton Jacobs (Suns).
Everyone has been really upbeat at training and we’re looking forward to getting back on our home ground