Barber Shield glory within reach

Barber Shield glory within reach

Minor premiers West Gambier is set to take on third placed North Sportsman’s in the Mount Gambier and Districts Cricket Association Barber Shield grand final this weekend at Frew Park.

The first time these two sides met this season North got the better of West back in round 2, handing West its only loss for the season.

The Roos bounced back the second time they played in round 5 and tied the season series, putting on 302 runs in their innings.

West dominated its semi final against Mil Lel at Malseed Park, making 292 runs on day one before producing an exceptional bowling performance to destroy the opposition for just 70 runs.

West Gambier’s Sujith Nikethana starred on the day, scoring 114 runs, while bowler Sam Willis shut down any Mil Lel momentum, taking five 5 wickets on the weekend.

The Roos will look to opener Justin De Jong to lead the batting charge.

De Jong has had a great season but has struggled at some points.

Last time West played North, De Jong only made 13 runs.

Last week De Jong did not have the greatest performance, only making 13 runs.

But he has proven that he can be a threat with the bat, having scored a century this season.

Another important player for West will be Sam Willis who has taken 12 wickets in his last four games.

To add to his elite bowling form Willis has also had a pretty good season with the bat, proving he can get the job done and consistently contribute double digit run totals.

North’s semi final win came at the expense of East Gambier at Allan Scott Park.

North’s batting innings was not its usual best with the majority of the batting order struggling, with the two top run scorers Brad Robinson with 30 and Mitchell Lewis with 52.

However, North excelled with the ball as they were able to hold off the Doggies and secure the win, led by Nick McInerney who had a great performance, picking up five wickets.

Elliot Fisher will need to lead the way at the crease on the weekend.

After coming off a monster performance against South in the last match of the season Fisher struggled on Saturday, getting out for a duck after five balls.

Fisher will be looking to bounce back from his underwhelming performance and get back to his best.

Someone who has found great form late in the season has been Tim Young.

Young has taken eight wickets in his last three games.

If Young can get some wickets early it will go a long way in getting the edge over West.

This year North has struggled to take a lot of wickets, only snaring 98 for the whole season which is the lowest team that made finals.

West has also not been able to take many wickets as the Roos were ranked third out of the top four teams for wickets taken with 108.

This paves the way for the grand final to produce some big run scores.

With West rolling into the grand final on a nine game winning streak you can make the case that it is the Roos’ game to lose but considering North is the only team to have beaten West it should make the game up for grabs, particularly considering how well North has been playing in the last few weeks.

All eyes will be on the weather forecast for Saturday, with the potential for the grand final to be delayed if the predicted forecast of 38 degrees is reached.

Association president Robert Drenthen said the forecasted temperature would be assessed at 8.30am on Saturday.

“If the forecast is still saying above 38 we will move the grand final to our reserve back up days, which will be Sunday and Monday,” he said.

“However, given there is a possibility of rain on Sunday we may have to resort to playing reduced overs on Sunday and Monday.

“But for now everything remains the same, until we know for sure on Saturday morning what the weather has in store for us.”

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