A western suburbs derby and
a clash of finals experience highlight the two Preliminary Finals of the Alcohol.Think
Again Premier Cricket season, with all four sides desperate for a chance at the
premiership next weekend.
Claremont-Nedlands and Subiaco Floreat clash in a hotly anticipated
contest at Cresswell Park, with the competition’s best bowler Andrew Holder and leading batsman Tim David to face off against each
Joondalup and Fremantle are successful finals sides, with both teams
eager to add another flag to their cabinet this season.
Cresswell Park and Stevens Reserve will host the fixtures starting at
10.30am, with both winners to face off in the final next weekend at
the WACA Ground.
Claremont-Nedlands (1st, D,W,L,W,W) v Subiaco Floreat (5th,W,W,W,W,L) at
Umpires: N Johnstone-J Hewitt.
CN: Chris Brabazon (c), Travis Birt, Daniel Turkich, Jack
Cattrall, Jacob Whiteaker, Nicholas Hobson, Joel Paris, Haydan Morton, Tim
David, Keagan Africa, Matthew Kelly.
SF: Christopher Hansberry (c), Alexander Malcolm, Calum How,
Anthony Murphy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Geremy Fatouros, Aaron Lilly, Andrew
Holder, Ashley Blake, James Sansalone, Tim Monteleone.
Claremont-Nedlands will begin favourites in their clash against
Subiaco Floreat at Cresswell Park, but both sides enter the fixture in
terrific form with a grand final beckoning.
The Tigers, who lost the 2013-14 Grand Final in a thriller to Wanneroo, haven't lifted the First Grade crown in 11 years, while Subi's last flag was six years ago in 2010-11.
Tim David and Nick Hobson were the in-form batsmen last weekend and will
look to take advantage of the home fixture, with a draw good enough to put the
Tigers into the last weekend of the season.
Joel Paris is named to return again for the home side, with Brad Hope returning to
school cricket for the weekend, with the squad otherwise unchanged.
Matt Kelly and Keagan Africa will lead the attack with ball in hand,
while spinners Haydan Morton and Dan Turkich will prove difficult for the Subi
batsman to get away.
Subiaco Floreat remain unchanged for the semi-final, with Andrew Holder
the player to watch after runs and wickets last weekend, as the fast-bowler
approaches 50 wickets for the season.
Nathan Coulter-Nile and Calum How pose a powerful threat in the middle
order, with veterans Chris Hansberry and the departing Alex Malcolm leading from the front
with plenty of finals experience.
Tim Monteleone will play his 150th first-grade game in an added
motivation for his side to push through to their first two-day final since
Fremantle (2nd, L,D, L,W,W) v Joondalup (4th W,W,L,D,W) at Stevens
Umpires: T Rann-T Steenholdt.
FR: Christopher Wood(c), Jake Carder, Anthony Collova, Chris
Chellew, Jhye Richardson, Brayden Sutton, Matthew Micale, Jarryd McPhee, Jamie
Heath, Ross Macauley, Chris Davenport, Joel Crosswell.
JO: Michael Swart(c), Jaron Morgan, Clinton Hinchliffe, Garrick
Morgan, James Boyland, Mitchell Dixon, Jed Standring, Josh Anderson, Michael
Johnson, Simon Branston, Ty Hopes.
Joondalup and Fremantle will face off in the other Preliminary Final at Stevens
Reserve, with the Centurions looking strong at the right time of the season
after a dominant victory last weekend.
Fremantle are coming off a disappointing loss against Subiaco Floreat
last weekend, however have shown all year that they can bounce back, with
quality finals experience the key to the contest.
The Port Boys reached the decider last year, losing to Rockingham-Mandurah and are looking to end their 26-year First Grade premiership wait, although they've already claimed the Premier T20 and Statewide T20 titles this campaign.
Brayden Sutton, Jamie Heath and Chris Wood will all bring valuable
finals experience to the Fremantle lineup, with youngster Jarryd McPhee a
constant danger with the ball.
Jhye Richardson will lead the attack after being left out of the state
squad for the week, with Jake Carder carrying the burden of runs after getting a
start last weekend before getting out in a side without top scorer Tom Abell and Ashton Turner.
Meanwhile, Joondalup have won two of the past four First Grade premierships. A winning mentality is driving Joondalup with the successful side
pushing for yet another final in Premier Cricket, with their side unchanged for
last weekend’s win over Perth.
Simon Branston was at his damaging best against the Demons and will look
to cause havoc with the new ball, while Ty Hopes and James Boyland will bring
experience to the bowling lineup.
Jaron and Garrick Morgan will want runs at the top of the order, with
Clint Hinchliffe continuing his consistent year in the middle order. Josh Inglis is absent due to WA duty.
Look for this to be an extremely tight contest with both sides chasing
success after finals disappointment last season.-Elliot Raiter