Title record in Railways’ sights

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Railways will try to become the first team in Albany Cricket Association history to win five consecutive A-grade premierships when they tackle Manypeaks in Saturday’s 2017-18 decider at Turf North.

The Tigers have won the past four A-grade titles and will appear in their eighth grand final in nine seasons to underline their status as the most dominant side of the recent era.

In their search for a fifth straight flag, the Tigers have lost three one-day matches this season but skipper Zane Marwick said a form slump had fuelled his side’s desire to chase their place in history.

“Midway through the year, we had a bit of a form slump,” Marwick said.

“That’s when we spoke about what it would mean to win five in a row and the work it would take to get there.

“It has been a big motivator — the attitude of the group has lifted and everyone has put a lot of hard work in the second half of the year.

“Cricket is a funny game and if you are not on your game, anything can happen. Peaks are a great side and will be up for the fight.”

The two sides met in the 2015-16 grand final, where the Tigers prevailed by 53 runs.

Marwick said his bowlers again held the key to premiership success.

“(Harry) Broomhall and (Craig) Sinclair are the two key wickets,” he said. “Getting them early is key and we’ve seen anything above 150 on these pitches you win more than you lose and we back our bowlers to defend that.”

Marwick said his side was unlikely to make any changes, resisting the temptation to bring back Coen Marwick from a hamstring injury.

Peaks will be without all-rounder Jeremy Stewart, who is away on holiday, with either Bailey Cavanagh or Heath Brown to replace him in the grand final side, according to captain Craig Sinclair.

Sinclair said his side would look to be more aggressive with the bat to reverse the second semifinal result, when they lost to the Tigers by 63 runs.

“Railways have been the benchmark for however many years now,” Sinclair said. “We need to keep busy and aggressive with the bat and put ourselves in a stronger position so we can apply a bit of pressure in the second innings.

“We have a lot of options with our bowlers, who have been really consistent this season.”

Peaks’ last premiership success came in 2010-11, when they won a dramatic grand final over the Tigers.

Tigers veteran Ryan Tindale will play his 200th A-grade game in the grand final, which starts at noon, with Sunday fixtured as a reserve day in case of rain.

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