In-form Park a big finals challenge: Wood

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Mt Barker captain Jeremy Wood believes the form side of the competition stands in the way of his team and a preliminary final berth in Saturday’s sudden- death first semifinal in the Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition.

The Bulls are playing finals in their first season of A-grade but Wood is wary of Collingwood Park, who have won six of their past seven one-day matches.

All-rounder Nathan Crosby is a vital inclusion for the Bulls for the first semifinal where they will be at full strength in their attempt to reach Sunday’s preliminary final.

“Getting two sides into the finals is a great result for a little club like us,” Wood said.

“We are all pretty excited.

“Collingwood Park are probably the form team of the competition so it certainly won’t be easy on Saturday.

“They’ve been bowling very well and restricting sides to low scores so we are going to have to step up with the bat.”

Crosby has led the way for the Bulls this season with 416 one-day runs while Alex Fergie (290 runs) and Wood (275) will also be vital in the top order.

“We haven’t batted that well all year, it’s been our problem,” Wood said.

“Nath coming back in will help that but we’ve got to have a good day with the bat.

“Getting (Nathan Dovey) out is crucial to the result I feel as well, he is the sort of bloke that can take the game away from you quickly.”

Park batsman Nathan Dovey has plundered 814 runs in the one-day competition this season at an average of 74 and he is the prize wicket for the Bulls come Saturday at Turf West.

Park won the most recent encounter between the two sides back in round 15, prevailing in a low-scoring affair by 54 runs.

Prior to that the Bulls chased down 225 in round 3 to secure victory by three wickets with Crosby and Luke Hammond scoring half centuries.

The winner of the first semifinal will play the loser of the second semifinal on Sunday, and weather set to also play a part as rain is forecast on both Friday and Saturday.

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