Cricket Shepparton junior finals preview

By Liam Nash

With Vibert Reserve, Shepparton, the theatre, on Sunday Numurkah and Pine Lodge will enter the limelight as they attempt to be named Cricket Shepparton’s under-16 A-grade sovereign side.

Both titans in their own respect, Numurkah’s unbeaten run surely has it favourite ahead of the bout, but all former glories will be left in the sheds when the Blues and Lodgers hit the oval.

Numurkah’s batting roster leaves little to be desired with five players surpassing the 100-run mark this season, but the real threat lies in the form of Bailey Smith, who has caused headaches for opposition attacks having blitzed 360 runs during this campaign.

Meanwhile, Pine Lodge will hope to nullify Numurkah’s main men with its well-balanced bowling line-up, with James Nugent, Daniel Linton and Thomas Phillips expected to worry the Blues’ batsmen.

● All will be decided in the under-16 B-grade division when Northerners go to battle with Nagambie at Deakin Reserve, Shepparton.

In the four occasions the sides have locked horns throughout the season, each has emerged with two wins, meaning the grand final will settle the score and crown the winner supreme.

The Jets will look to star all-rounders Declan Newbound (133 runs and 14 wickets) and Preston Hall (215 and 11) to get the job done, while Lakers guns James Auld (197 and 10) and Jonathan Moore (318 and 10) have proved more than capable of winning games single-handedly.

● Shepparton United will meet Numurkah at Vibert Reserve to square off for under-14 A-grade royalties on Sunday.

A repeat of last month's one-day final, United will be out for blood after falling at the hands of the Blues a month beforehand.

Tyler Green will be among the likely candidates to cause catastrophe with the bat for United having smacked 239 runs at a jaw-dropping average of 119.5, while the Blues will be wary of strike bowler Oliver Warburton having topped the side’s charts with 14 wickets throughout the season.

However, Numurkah boasts batting firepower of its own with Riley Dawson and Reeve Verhoeven’s combined run total of 383 sure to play on the minds of the United attack.

● In under-14 B-grade action, Congupna Recreation Reserve will play host to a classic between Old Students and Nagambie.

Comfortably the two best outfits to grace the division this season, Students will approach the contest with a slight edge having beaten their counterpart twice in the one-day competition, but will have to fight hammer and tongs to come up trumps this time around.

Possessing two batsmen who have broken through the 200-run barrier in Flynn and Darby O’Brien, Nagambie will be met by the challenge of Students’ bowling trident of Mac Fifoot, Darcy Smyth and Samuel O’Brien who have taken 10 wickets each.