Central and North’s grand final battle

GF SHOWDOWN: Central Whyalla batsman Isaac Smith connects with the ball in the Roosters' preliminary final win. Central takes on North Whyalla in the grand final.
GF SHOWDOWN: Central Whyalla batsman Isaac Smith connects with the ball in the Roosters' preliminary final win. Central takes on North Whyalla in the grand final.

North Whyalla Vs Central Whyalla, 12:45pm, Memorial Oval, Saturday, March 18 

Possible Team Listings 

North Whyalla 

Matt Quist (captain) 

David Miller 

Scott Crowhurst 

David Atkinson (vice-captain) 

David Dekuijer 

Chad Clothier 

Mark Heath 

Gary Branford 

Sam Lewis 

Shannon Pudney (WK) 

Sriramgopal Perialwar 

Griffin Harvey (12th) 

Central Whyalla 

Bradley Smith 

Isaac Smith 

Jarrad Dunbar 

Scott Collison (captain) 

Michael Dyson 

Tom Baulderstone 

Daniel Collison 

Ben Schriener 

Jamie Lee 

Josh Bartel 

Callum Sartain 

Central Whyalla will be looking to make it back to back A grade premierships this coming Saturday at Memorial Oval while the North Whyalla Magpies will be looking to break a long standing drought of 23 years since their last taste of victory in the 1993/94 season which was against the mighty Roosters. Both sides faced off in last season's decider, with Centrals' experience and composure proving too strong, an experience which the Magpies would be hoping that they can turn around for the better. 

Captain Scott Collison and veteran Bradley Smith have been playing a lot of late-March cricket throughout their careers, collecting an incredible 14 Premierships each whilst wearing the red cap. These two players both hold the key, not only with the bat, but Smith to bowl his wobbly mediums and Collison to use his strong leadership and tactical understanding to ruin the Magpie party. Isaac Smith has hit some promising from in the last two weeks, scoring 22 and 24, with Jarrad Dunbar scoring 300+ runs at number 3, forms a strong top order that the Magpies will have trouble dismissing.  

North will put their faith in their strong pace attack lead Sam Lewis, Gary Branford and Dave Miller, who have all caused headaches for various top orders' this season. Sriramgopal Perialwar has been a welcome addition since the loss of Richard Paynter mid-season, often tying up an end with his medium swingers and lately out-smarting lower orders. Add Quist and Dekuijer spin options, North boast an impressive bowling line-up which has kept the pressure on throughout the season. 

North will be hoping they can get and even contribution from their batters, with Quist, Crowhurst, Dekuijer and Atkinson their go to players for runs. Chad Clothier and David Miller have proved to be productive hitters and could prove vital if the run rate needs boosting. Central's bowling line-up has been lead by openers Josh Bartel and Daniel Collison. Bartel has collected plenty of wickets this year, including 5 in the preliminary final, bowling much the same as his predecessor Jeremy Edson used to into the breeze for the Roosters. Both Smiths have been handy mediums, however, the trump could be Tom Baulderstone who turned the game last week with the vital wicket of Fiebig. 

The two most consistent sides for the year will get the honor of contesting for the title, but who know what the result will be? In the last two meetings, Centrals have chased down North's 29, the roles reversed for the major semi when Centrals only posted 37 for Norths to get. Whatever the result, lets hope the game goes past at least 3pm to allow the spectators some time to enjoy themselves. 

Whyalla A Reserve Grand Final Preview 

West Whyalla vs North Whyalla, 10:00am, Schultze Reserve, Saturday, March 18 

You would think the world would be sick on North vs West Grand Finals, apparently not! In what has been a common football trend over the last seven years, West will host North in the A Reserve Cricket decider this weekend at Schultze Reserve. 

The major semi-final saw the Dragons victorious with 10 balls to spare, chasing the competitive target of 140 posted by the Magpies. Boasting players such as Jayden Croft, Paul Wilson, Remy Starkey and Reg Harris, the game of cricket should be easy for the Dragons, however, cricket can be a funny game, particularly when the Magpies have free scoring batsmen such as Mudalige, Kirchner and O'Keefe.  

My pick is the team who drops the least catches will win, as was the case in the major semi final where West was victorious. If you are not busy on Saturday morning, head down to Schultze Reserve and watch the A Reserve Final before heading up to Memorial for the A Grade Final. Hopefully the weather turns it on for a celebration of community cricket.