15 March, 2024

Warriors look to the double

For the second time in three weeks, the West Wimmera Warriors and Homers will face off in the Horsham Cricket Association Grand Final in A Grade, this time the more prestigious two-day game at Horsham City Oval on Saturday and Sunday.

By Chris Graetz

Homers captain Adam Atwood is in some good bowling and batting form.
Homers captain Adam Atwood is in some good bowling and batting form.

On February 25 they played in the one-day grand final with the Warriors running out comfortable 88-run winners.

The two-day game is different and whilst the teams are slightly different, they still have the key players which will make the game exciting for all.

The Warriors have the best batting lineup in the competition in terms of consistency. There is not a weakness in the Warriors lineup. In the batting, they boast Bradley Alexander, Jobe Dickinson and Nathan Alexander. In all formats this year the trio have scored 471, 454 and 325 runs respectively.

Should one falter, they have Brett Jensz and Jeremy Weeks who can score well on their day with Trevor Polkinghorne and Luke Smith able to chip in with cameos.

The Homers have the league-leading runscorer over both formats, Logan Millar. Millar has scored 573 runs averaging 52.09. Over the last couple of games Logan hasn't been his prolific self, but if he can get the runs, he is hard to stop.

Opener Patrick Mills has 433 runs for the season, but like Millar, hasn't been at his best the last couple of matches. One or both need to fire for the Homers to win.

Homers captain Adam Atwood is one of the form players of the competition. Over his last four games, he has scored 230 runs. He is a tremendous leader and leads from the front. Chaminda Gamage and Luke Duetscher can also be damaging on their day being able to put the game away quickly.

In the bowling, the Homers have the edge. Baxter and Gibson Perry are tough to face at the start of the innings. On Saturday against the Bullants, they bowled 19 maidens between them.

Baxter has 31 wickets at an average of 14.32 with Gibson on 29 at 13.03. Chaminda Gamage and Adam Atwood with their spinners are a dangerous duo, both with 24 wickets at 12.63 and 20 wickets at 15.8 respectively. Then you have Logan Millar's variety.

The Warriors have Nathan Alexander with 29 wickets at 10.69 and then Bradley Alexander next best on 20 at 13.5. Xavier Bone has 15 wickets at 11.93 and then there is a big gap to Jeremy Weeks with eight wickets.

In the fielding, in recent times, that edges the Warrior's way.

Warriors captain Jeremy Weeks said the group is jumping at the chance to do the double.

"We are pretty confident, but we still have a bit of nerves," Weeks said.

"Everyone should feel nervous before a grand final. We will be going in with an unchanged team and everyone knows the job they need to do.

"We will have a couple of plans for their top order. They are talented and if they haven't been scoring well it means they are due, so we need to watch that carefully."

Weeks said his bowlers have been excellent the last couple of weeks.

"Ever since we played Homers in the two-dayer a month ago, our bowlers have been doing pretty well," he said.

"What was pleasing to see was they weren't at their best at the start of the innings against the Tigers and were bowling short, but at drinks, after a chat, they adjusted and found their line and length again and did well."

"Mills and Millar have made a lot of runs this year and Atwood is a class act. Deutscher is a damaging player and young Luke Millar has shown he can hang around and Chaminda can provide a good cameo so we have plenty to think about in how we approach their batting."

Weeks is confident their deep lineup can put up a defendable and winning score.

"Batting deep is our strength. They have pretty good bowlers and we are confident in our batting," he said.

"Chaminda is a hard player to face. He has fired a few of us out LBW in recent times so we will look to have a plan for him."

Up until last weekend, the Homers' fielding has been poor. They have dropped a lot of catches and Homers captain Adam Atwood said the fielding needs to be on point.

"We need to field and catch better. On the weekend our catching was unbelievable following a few lean weeks," Atwood said.

"We need to take that momentum into this week and if we are on top in the field, it will go a long way to winning this match."

Atwood said that having a young group can provide inconsistencies that have been evident late in the season, but said it's all about getting through that new ball.

"We need to look after our wickets against the new ball. That's where we are letting teams get on top of us a bit. They are getting our top order out and we can lose clumps of wickets early," Atwood said.

"When we don't get our way, we struggle and we just need to knuckle down and bat for time. We watch a lot of cricket on TV where they score quickly.

"We need to grind it out. If we can get to 200-250 then that is a winnable score."

Atwood said his bowlers are strong at the moment and he is confident they can do the job.

"As you saw on the weekend, Gibson and Baxter bowled tight and it put pressure on the batsmen. With the pressure it enabled the next bowlers to be able to come on and take wickets," he said.

"The Warriors bat deep so we need to knuckle down and bowl tight. The bowling is good. We just need to be backing up in the field."

Atwood said Chaminda Gamage is very important and he is in great form at the right time.

"With Chaminda you know what you are going to get. He bowls tight and rarely bowls a loose ball and with the bat, he can score 50 runs quickly," he said.


The Colts will be out to do the double as they take on Panthers at Dudley Cornell Park in the two-day B Grade Horsham Cricket Association Grand Final.

These two teams clashed on Sunday, February 25, where the Colts came out victors in the one-day final by seven wickets.

The Colts have gone through the season undefeated in both formats and boast the best player in the grade, Josh Colbert.

Colbert has had an unbelievable season with bat and ball in both formats. With the bat, he has scored 452 runs at an average of 64.57. He leads Panthers' Nicholas Hudson by 23 runs.
With the ball, he has taken 20 wickets at an average of 7.95 and is currently sitting third, one behind Panthers Gavin Young and Tigers Dale Dridan.

It's no surprise that the two grand finalists boast the top two players in both disciplines.
Batting is a strength for both teams with Colts having a slight edge. They have Jaxon Crooks and Joshua McCluskey both fifth and sixth with runs scored on 296 and 258 respectively.

The Panthers batting sees Connor Weidemann on 315 runs at an average of 52.5 with brother Hugh ninth on the list with 213 runs. The key to the Panthers chances is those three players.

The Colts bat deeper with Dylan Arnott with 182 runs and Kevin Purchase with 181.
The bowling is even between the two clubs. Gavin Young leads with 21 wickets at 7.48 with Hugh Weidemann in fifth place with 17 wickets at. 15.59.

In fourth place behind Colbert is Ross Frew who has taken 18 wickets at 7.56.
With the two-day format being more prestigious, a hard-fought battle is expected and despite being unbeaten, it is a final that could go either way with both teams superb on their day.


The Horsham Cricket Association C Grade final between Natimuk and Colts at Dimboola Road Oval on Saturday is wide open.

Following Lubeck Murtoa's straight sets exit, both teams line up evenly across all facets of the game.

Colts are headlined by Jay Couch who has scored 344 runs at an average of 34.4 and Drew Carmody, who has scored 257 at 32.13. They are both third and fifth respectively in the season standings. Darren Stephens has also scored over 200 runs, with 223 at an average of 24.78.

Dean Arnott and Austin Simpson are both on 170 at 42.5 and 164 at 16.4 respectively which shows they are solid with the bat.

Natimuk only boast two players that have scored over 200 runs. Jeremy Schmidt leads the way on 267 with Clinton Garwood on 210. With Tyler Coutts sitting on 185 at 16.82 and Callum Cameron 162 at 23.14, they have four that have scored over 150.

The difference between the lineups is they have five other players who have scored over 100 runs whilst the Colts have two. That could be the difference as Natimuk can bat deeper.

With that said, the bowling is the Colts strength and they are stronger than Natimuk in that regard.

Jay Couch has claimed 21 wickets at an average of 6.05 and Drew Carmody has 18 at 7.33. Austin Simpson has 14 at 20 and Brydon McPhee, 10 at 18.6 and they are a dangerous quartet.

Natimuk also have four players in double figures. Alex Baker leads the way with 16 at 10.19, Cameron Callum, 15 at 10.4, Clinton Garwood, 14 at 8.57 and Jeremy Schmidt, 11 at 9.64.

The previous times these two teams have played, the Colts have won twice, but only in the last over. A close game is expected and it would take a brave man to predict the winner.


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