FINALS MAN: Brothers’ Troy McLaren knows all about pressure.
FINALS MAN: Brothers’ Troy McLaren knows all about pressure.

Two factors may decide grand final

TWO WORDS - experience and confidence.

Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.

The match-up in today’s Premier League decider between Westlawn and Brothers promises to bring out the best - or worst - in the players depending on how they handle pressure-cooker cricket.

Westlawn have seven players who have tasted grand final experience: Tony Blanch, Jason Rainbow, Nathan Blanch, Jason Chevalley, Brad Inmon, Daniel Amos and Rohan Hackett.

On the other hand only Troy McLaren and Seb Dalton have taken part in a grand final for Brothers.

With a relatively young side, Brothers have slowly built up momentum coming into the decider and are not lacking in confidence according to McLaren.

“We know Westlawn have players with grand final experience but experience isn’t everything,” McLaren said.

“We have confidence in each other and have improved out of site in the last few months. We proved last week against Harwood we can match it with the top sides.”

Part of the reason for Brothers’ success centres around their batting with their game against Harwood in the final a typical example of playing as a unit.

Summers top-scored with 60 but it was their imposing score of 8-296 which told the story. Brothers’ batting lineup continues to rack up big scores with each batsmen contributing with a 30 or 40.

“If someone fails in the batting someone else always steps up when needed,” McLaren said.

“Robbo (Brad Robertson) hasn’t been in great form with the bat of late so it’s a positive sign that we can still post a decent total.

“There is no doubt Robbo is a big game player and I expect he will produce the goods this weekend.”

Robertson who travels from Lismore each week not only captains the side but bats at four and is a more than handy first-change bowler.

If anyone in the Brothers’ side is capable of turning a game in their favour, it’s Robertson.

Teams who win the toss usually gain the advantage and have one thing in mind - bat out the overs.

Local curator Tony Blanch said on Friday the Ellem Oval wicket should be a belter and a score of 250-300 would be about par.

McLaren said winning the toss and batting first would suit his opening batsmen, particularly Sam Jackson.

“If we win the toss I don’t care if we are none for 30 off 20 overs as long as we bat out the overs,” he said. “If we do we should have a score around 280-plus. Sam is technically correct and has the ability to bat all day.”

The Brothers’ top-order is sure to be tested early with Rohan Hackett and Matt Lobsey charging in.

Westlawn have it over Brothers in the bowling department but questions have to be asked regarding their batting depth.

Brendan Purser is all class and on recent performances has been the backbone of their batting. Daniel Amos also oozes class but runs have been few and far between. Brothers need to take early wickets and expose Westlawn’s middle-order which looks somewhat brittle. Brothers on the other hand bat down to number eight.

“We know Westlawn have players with grand final experience but experience isn’t everything.”

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