Cricket North: Launceston, Westbury fight for home final

ELEVATION: Westbury all-rounder Richard Howe. The Shamrocks could secure a home final should they beat Launceston this round.
ELEVATION: Westbury all-rounder Richard Howe. The Shamrocks could secure a home final should they beat Launceston this round.

Launceston and Westbury have all but sewn up their spots in finals but there’s still plenty to play for in the penultimate round of roster matches.

South Launceston is favourite to advance straight to the final, however, both Launceston and Westbury could still claim top should they win their remaining fixtures and other results go their way.

At the very least, a home final is up for grabs when the two teams meet on Saturday.

“It’s a fairly crucial game,” Westbury skipper Richard Howe said. 

“We’ll just continue with the way we’ve carried on throughout the year.

“Our batting is one area we need to work on, so hopefully we can get things right there and spend a little bit more time at the crease.

“I think as a bowling group we’ve been fairly disciplined in the last two months but having that break you don’t get that game environment bowling so it’ll be another good test for us to see where we’re at.”

While the Shamrocks come in fresh off the bye, Alistair Taylor’s Launceston side will be looking to back up last weekend’s win over Mowbray. 

The Lions will sit out round 15 with the bye and Taylor is determined to go into the break with positive momentum. 

“If we win we probably do lock ourselves in for finals which would be a great reward for a lot of hard work over the course of the last couple of years,” Taylor said.

“The bowling’s been really good, it would be nice to keep teams to a little lower scores but I can’t fault them at all, they’ve been doing exactly what’s asked of them.

“The middle order’s starting to click now as well so it’s hopefully getting someone like Tom Bennett or Zac Oldenhof getting a big score... but I’m really impressed with how the team’s going at the moment.”

TURNING CIRCLE: Riverside paceman Alex Saunders.

TURNING CIRCLE: Riverside paceman Alex Saunders.

RIVERSIDE is looking to finish the season off with a bang, starting with the weekend’s clash with Mowbray.

Finals are out of reach for the Blues barring a specific set of results, but there’s still plenty of motivation to win – revenge for a big loss to the Eagles in round 7.

“Mowbray won last time so we’ll be rectify that,” skipper Tom Garwood said. 

Neither the Eagles nor the Blues have won a match since before the Greater Northern Cup finals, but Garwood is confident his side is about to turn the corner.

“There’s a couple of positives. 

“Bailey (Hunt) is batting really well at the moment so we’re looking for him to go one step further and convert his 50s into 100s, and also Luke Midson made his A-grade debut last week, so we’re also looking for him to back that up as well.”

STANDING ORDER

South Launceston 54.10

Launceston 46.87

Westbury 42.93

Riverside 30.21

Mowbray 26.44