2016-17 Cricket North preliminary final | South Launceston v Riverside

South Launceston stalwart Mark Nutting.
South Launceston stalwart Mark Nutting.

South Launceston and Riverside will vie for the right this weekend to take on Westbury in this year’s Cricket North grand final.

The Knights, who finished the home and away season in second, will host the preliminary final against the Blues at NTCA Ground No.2 on Saturday and Sunday.

South Launceston recorded a first innings win over their opponents after amassing 297 on day one in January with captain Alec Smith confident about advancing.

“We had a really good win last round against Mowbray before the bye so hopefully we can take that momentum into the game,” Smith said.

“Riverside have got a couple of potential match winners so we will probably try and counter their influence and just stick to our game.

“Sometimes we’ve been a little inconsistent throughout games, which has cost us I think.

“If we bat, bowl and field well it will go a long way to us winning.”

Smith said Jack Young would return for both days with other changes to be confirmed before the coin toss.

Sometimes we’ve been a little inconsistent throughout games, which has cost us I think. If we bat, bowl and field well it will go a long way to us winning.

Knights captain Alec Smith

Riverside coach Paul Bunton said he was impressed with last week’s outright victory over Launceston and believes his side has the bowling and batting attack to succeed.

“In order to win finals you’ve got to get the runs on the board and your bowlers have got to support that as well,” he said.

“We have got a lot of options with our bowling and we are certainly expecting to bowl and field for an extended period.

“We envisage that we will make a couple of changes for the match, however, they haven’t been settled as yet. 

“We have got a little bit of depth and we have got some availabilities so we expect at least two changes.”

The winner with play the Shamrocks in the three-day decider at NTCA Ground No. 1 from Friday, March 24.