Form teams meet for season grand finale
By TIM HOWARD
IN late January and early February this weekend's cricket grand final opponents Harwood and GI Tucabia Copmanhurst met in a game that determined the fate of the season.
Tucabia were battling to stay in touch with the Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League's leading teams, while Harwood had established itself as the raging favourite for the 2005-06 season.
Tucabia senior player Greg Watkins said the game was a virtual semi-final clash.
"We had to win. If we lost we were out of it for the season," he said.
"We got 280 and bowled them out in the second last over of the match.
"It was an emotional win for us that has snowballed over the past six weeks to get us where we are today."
And to help keep the ball rolling for the side, Tucabia has welcomed back two of its stalwarts of the past decade, Matthew Pigg and Chris Adamson.
"Piggy coming back has been good for the side," Watkins said.
"He hasn't been performing to the standard that we know he can, but the team believes it can win when he's around."
The spectacular return of Chris Adamson, with seven wickets and a half-century in Tucabia's semi-final win over Westlawn has also been a huge boost for the side.
"Chris came back into the side with exactly the right attitude," Watkins said.
"He got seven wickets and had five catches dropped. If we'd hung onto some of those he could have had nine wicket."
Harwood skipper Tim McMahon also has strong memories of that game in January.
"Tucabia are on a roll and have been playing good cricket," he said.
"They beat us in that game, but we know we can play better cricket than that."
McMahon said the Harwood team was up for the grand final.
"We had our best training run for the season on Thursday," he said.
"A few of the guys who haven't played in a premier league final were jumping out of their skins to play this weekend."
Although wet weather is likely to figure in the grand final, McMahon was tight-lipped about his team's approach.
"Our motto is 'bat first' and it would take a lot for us to change that," he said.
"But if there is time lost, it generally works in favour of the side that bowls first.
"But until we see the conditions there's not much we can do."
However, wet weather is a factor in the planning of both teams.
Watkins said Tucabia would adopt its one-day game plan if the game lost all of Saturday to rain.