THE bragging rights for the best under 14s outfit in the Western Zone will be decided this Sunday when the Mitchell Cricket Council and Macquarie Valley Cricket Council teams square off in a winner-takes-it-all battle.
Having scored two victories each in the 2018-2019 season, the rivals are locked on eight points with one round to play. That round is this Sunday in Dubbo.
Given the nature of this match, it would be understandable for players to be nervous. However, Mitchell coach Bill Hall says that is not the case for his team.
“They aren’t really nervous. The players really just play cricket and have put the winning or losing aspect out of their minds. They just follow all the plans we put forward in matches and then see how we go,” Hall said.
Mitchell’s two wins thus far both came against Lachlan Cricket Council, who will finish the Western Zone competition in third regardless of what happens this Sunday.
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Mitchell’s only prior match against Macquarie saw Hall’s side suffer a 38-run loss at home in round three.
Mitchell’s attack bowled well with nine Macquarie batsmen restricted to four runs or less. However, the other two members of the visitor’s line up – Harrison Quinn (90) and Hugh Sienkiewicz (49) – did the damage with a 106-run partnership.
Hall says that batting is the one area that Mitchell needs to improve to reverse that result.
“It was only that one partnership that really cost us in our last game with them. We were a bit slow getting runs and they bogged us down a bit as we weren’t running [well] between the wickets,” Hall said.
“All of our bowlers are doing a really good job. We just need our openers to get off to a good start. I would say that Murray Fisher and Angus Parsons are the two batsmen who should do a great job for us in this upcoming match.”
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Connor Whale shapes as a key with the ball, having claimed eight scalps thus far, including a fantastic five-wicket haul. He is the top-ranked under 14 bowler.
The Mitchell line up has a strong Bathurst presence with Parsons, Calvin Windus, Kaydden Hoad and Liam Cain all playing in the side.
Cain may also play a role in Sunday’s match, having bowled well in Mitchell’s last game with three wickets off his five overs.
Meanwhile the Mitchell under 12s are in the box seat to secure the Western Zone title for their division, sitting one win clear on top of the ladder heading into Sunday.
The Mitchell under 16s side hasn’t been that successful this season, having just one win thus far, but can snatch second spot should it post a convincing victory over Macquarie on Sunday.