Park Finals Ready
Collingwood Park have plenty of motivation to win Saturday’s Albany and Districts Cricket Association A-grade elimination final, given their lack of recent finals history, according to captain Matt Heberle.
Collingwood Park won four games and finished sixth last season, but they will return to finals action opposed to an up and down Royals outfit as they look to progress to their first preliminary final since 2014-15.
Winning seven of their past eight games, including a round 14 demolition of Royals, Park head into the finals series brimming with confidence.
Heberle said it was encouraging his side had had the better of the Lions this season.
“We are really excited about the opportunity to play finals,” he said.
“Wins in finals have been few and far between for us in A-grade in recent times.
“It’s nice to know we have played well against them in recent times but I think over the last couple years results between our two clubs have been pretty even, so it just comes down to who gets it right on the day.”
Park will make several changes from the team that beat Mt Barker in the last game of the regular season.
Nick Barrow, Leroy van den Dool and Tim Pyle come back in for the do-or-die clash at the likely expense of Andre Gabriel and Byron Spaanderman.
Lions captain Mitch Green said his side were hungry to improve on last season’s finish when they were knocked out in the same fixture, and believes they go in as underdogs.
His side found some much needed form against Denmark last Saturday, snapping a four-game losing streak, and Green said disappointing performances against Park in their past two games would spur the Lions to respond.
“We have let ourselves down the past couple of games against them but we take confidence from the big win we had against them early in the season,” Green said.
“We go in as underdogs with nothing to lose so it is exciting for us, and all of the boys are ready for the challenge.
“I think our best cricket can challenge anyone.”
“We’ve beaten every side other than Manypeaks so there is no reason we can’t shake up the finals this year.
“It’s no secret that we have crawled into the finals but we come off a good win last week and we return to full strength this week.”
The first semifinal will be played at Turf South at noon on Saturday the winner progressing to Sunday’s preliminary final.
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