Cobras eye first flag in EVCA grand final against Mandurang

PRIZE ON THE LINE: Mandurang co-captains Matt Pask and James Pietromonaco with Golden Gully skipper Clint Prime and the EVCA premiership shield. Picture: LUKE WEST

PRIZE ON THE LINE: Mandurang co-captains Matt Pask and James Pietromonaco with Golden Gully skipper Clint Prime and the EVCA premiership shield. Picture: LUKE WEST

AN OPPORTUNITY 17 seasons in the making awaits Golden Gully this weekend.

For the first time in the club’s history Golden Gully will play in the Emu Valley Cricket Association’s division one grand final against Mandurang at Ewing Park.

In his second season at the club, captain Clint Prime will lead the Cobras into grand final battle against the Rangas.

“It’s obviously very exciting for the club that after 17 seasons since it was formed it’s into its first division one grand final,” Prime said this week.

“When I was asked to do the job last season it was for this very reason… the second year in we’ve got ourselves an opportunity.”

The Cobras’ grand final appearance comes on the back of the club having finished seventh the past two seasons.

RECRUIT OF THE YEAR: Golden Gully's Greg Thomas has been influential with 653 runs and 13 wickets for the Cobras. Picture: NONI HYETT

RECRUIT OF THE YEAR: Golden Gully's Greg Thomas has been influential with 653 runs and 13 wickets for the Cobras. Picture: NONI HYETT

Golden Gully was one of the most active clubs during the off-season in adding to its list and right from day one was touted as being the big improvers.

Among the recruits to the club who will play in the grand final are the former Axe Creek pair in Travis Nolan and Grant Le Poidevin, batsman Greg Thomas, new coach Darren Hinck and Kansas Varker.

Thomas has been super at the top of the order with 653 runs, which includes six scores above 50 in his 15 innings, and finishing runner-up in the EVCA umpires votes this week.

Le Poidevin has also had a significant impact with 472 runs at an average of 67.4, while Varker (20 wickets, 180 runs) was this week named the EVCA’s under-21 player of the year.

Thomas, Le Poidevin, Jeremy Rogerson (457) and Nathan Hamblin (328) have all made more than 300 runs for the Cobras and between them have 18 scores above 50 from a combined 48 innings.

“If you go down to No.8 in our order, those eight guys have all opened the batting before in their career, so that shows that we’ve got really good depth and that has held us in good stead,” said Prime, who has previously won a BDCA premiership with Bendigo United.

“We haven’t really collapsed at all because of that depth.”

The weekend’s side includes both Rogerson and Brad Webster, who have been with the club through all 17 seasons.

Webster is the Cobras’ leading wicket-taker with 23. He has taken at least two in each of Golden Gully’s past eight games.

“I’ve looked to Brad each game to open the bowling and with his experience, he’s very cagey… he knows where to put it and get the wickets,” Prime said.

“He and Jeremy have been with the club since day one, so it would be great if they could be part of a premiership team.”

Play gets under way 1.30pm on Saturday.

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SEASON RESULTS:

Rd 2: 221 & 6-69 def United 186.

Rd 3: 203 & 4-130 def Spring Gully 153.

Rd 4: 7-284 def Mandurang 9-246.

Rd 5: 3-134 & 2-107 def West Bendigo 127 & 111.

Rd 6: 252 lt Marong 263.

Rd 7: 5-266 def Emu Creek 7-205.

Rd 8: Bye.

Rd 1: 4-260 def Sedgwick 5-245.

Rd 9: Bye.

Rd 10: 360 def Emu Creek 221.

Rd 11: 174 & 0-121 lt Sedgwick 223.

Rd 12: 4-238 def Maiden Gully 221.

SF: 230 def Sedgwick 204.

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PLAYER STATS:

CLINT PRIME

Runs: 139 Avr: 19.8

Fielding: 2/0

Rank points: 159

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JAMES AUSTIN

Runs: 4 Avr: 4.0

Wkts: 1 Avr: 16.0

Fielding: 3/1

Rank points: 69

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DARREN HINCK

Runs: 152 Avr: 13.8

Wkts: 4 Avr: 7.2

Fielding: 1/1

Rank points: 257

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NATHAN HAMBLIN

Runs: 328 Avr: 36.4

Wkts: 0 Avr: NA

Fielding: 12/3

Rank points: 493

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GRANT LE POIDEVIN

Runs: 472 Avr: 67.4

Wkts: 9 Avr: 47.0

Fielding: 0/0

Rank points: 652

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SHAUN O’SHEA

Runs: 32 Avr: 16.0

Wkts: 2 Avr: 48.5

Fielding: 0/0

Rank points: 72

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TRAVIS NOLAN

Runs: 60 Avr: 10.0

Wkts: 11 Avr: 28.2

Fielding: 1/0

Rank points: 290

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GREG THOMAS

Runs: 653 Avr: 46.6

Wkts: 13 Avr: 16.6

Fielding: 7/0

Rank points: 983

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JEREMY ROGERSON

Runs: 457 Avr: 50.7

Fielding: 5/0

Rank points: 507

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BRADLEY SMITH

Runs: 8 Avr: 4.0

Wkts: 7 Avr: 23.0

Fielding: 1/1

Rank points: 173

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KANSAS VARKER

Runs: 180 Avr: 30.0

Wkts: 20 Avr: 16.4

Fielding: 2/0

Rank points: 600

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BRAD WEBSTER

Runs: 62 Avr: 15.5

Wkts: 23 Avr: 12.5

Fielding: 6/1

Rank points: 597

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  • RANK POINTS – 1 run = 1 point; 1 wicket = 20 points; 1 catch = 10 points; 1 run out/stumping = 15 points.

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SELECTION – Golden Gully has been the more consistent side throughout the season and is my tip to finally win itsfirst flag.

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