COMEINSPINNER

By TONY WHITE

LIKE millions of punters on Anzac Day, Harwood Hilton captain Tim McMahon loves taking part in the Aussie tradition of two-up.

"I've done all right at it, won a couple of dollars too," the 41-year-old suggested.

Today on Ellem Oval, McMahon will get the chance to put his experience to the acid test when he gets to call heads or tails in the Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League cricket final against South Services.

Even before a ball is bowled the toss has become a vital factor in determining the final outcome.

McMahon and South's young captain Brett Woods would both love to win it and dictate the early play.

"I'm probably averaging 50-50 in winning the toss this season but this is one I'd love to win," McMahon said. "I haven't won a toss against South this season.

"Ideally we'd like to bat first, but if they (South) bat first I'd be equally confident.

"Everyone is really keen. If we play to our ability and potential we can definitely beat South.

"South have had a good year. At the start of the year, with their young side, no-one was sure how they would go, but our blokes are very determined to end their run."

South's experienced fast bowler Jason Thompson agreed winning the toss could make the difference between winning and losing.

"Harwood are always hard to beat, especially if they bat first. That suits their game," Thompson said.

"They are a fastidious batting side. They have the ability to bat all day and see out their overs. They're renowned for that.

"We've had trouble with that in the past, but we do have the ability to haul in a big total.

"If they win the toss and bat we have to get our mindset right, no lapses, we've got to concentrate all day.

"The spirit is good in the team. We were a little disappointed losing to Westlawn. We had it in the bag with Matt Hartmann batting so well, then that all went south quickly at the end.

"We're capable of bouncing back."

The two teams are one win each this season.

South scored a narrow win in the first round then Harwood reversed the result in round two with a comprehensive victory.

Harwood made its way to the final by beating Grafton Services Brothers last weekend while South lost narrowly to defending premiers, Westlawn Grafton Hotel.

Both teams will field unchanged sides from last weekend but there are a couple of injury worries in both camps.

Star Harwood all rounder Peter Hickey has had an old injury flare up and South have wounded players in Woods, Tom Kroehnert and Thompson.

Woods ankle is still swollen after copping a full blooded drive while fielding at silly mid on against Westlawn, Kroehnert hurt his hand in an accident at work and Thompson's nagging hamstring injury, which limited him to five overs last week, is prone to flaring up.

While South boast a number of outstanding juniors, Harwood have an array of elder statesmen like McMahon (41), steely opener Ed Munday (47), Hickey (43) and Andrew Whiteside (42), with plenty of finals experience.

It should be the classic match up -- the exuberance of youth versus tried and tested experience.



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