Peaks raring to go in preliminary final against Bulldogs

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Manypeaks will welcome back opening bowler Matt Hope and coach Langley Angel also appears set to return to their line-up for Saturday’s do-or-die Albany Cricket Association A-grade preliminary final against North County at Hard North.

In the new three-team finals format, the second-placed Peaks and the Bulldogs clash for the remaining spot in next Saturday’s decider, with an imposing Railways side awaiting the winner of this weekend’s clash.

Peaks were without Hope and Angel in last weekend’s loss to Denmark, and the coach confirmed they had a near full- strength squad to choose from. less Bryce Durack, who suffered a season-ending hand injury last month.

The two sides have only met once this season, with two encounters being washed out and Peaks winning the sole completed fixture in round 6 by 66 runs.

Angel said his side were fully focused on winning this week’s final in an attempt to secure successive grand final appearances.

“We have a full squad to pick from, basically,” he said.

“It’s a long time since we’ve played North County; I think it was back before Christmas, so it’s basically a clean slate for both of us. We’ll give them plenty of respect.

“We won seven on the trot and then lost to Railways and Denmark, so there is plenty of belief in the group and hopefully we can get the result on Saturday.”

The Bulldogs will also regain key all-rounder Harry Broomhall and Fabian Bolton in their attempt to qualify for their first grand final since 2014-15.

Nathan Benson will make way in the line-up through injury, and captain Graeme Weinert said his side had built confidence in the back half of the season.

“We think our end to the season was solid and started to get our better players back,” he said.

“We’ve only played them once this year and had an undermanned side that day, but they are a consistent team with a lot of contributors. We think out best side is more than capable of knocking them off.”

Weinert said the performance of Matthew and Michael Ferreira had added depth to their batting, which would be crucial in the result on Saturday.

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