Premier Cricket Grand Final Preview
23 March 2017  

Subiaco Floreat skipper Chris Hansberry in action with the bat // John & Carmen Sherry


Subiaco Floreat and Joondalup will compete in the Alcohol.Think Again Premier Cricket First Grade Grand Final this weekend, with a Centurions dynasty and a resurgent Lions lineup making for a thrilling contest at the WACA Ground.

The Centurions will be targeting their third premiership in five seasons after securing titles in 2013 and 2015, while Subiaco Floreat will play their first final since 2011, after making a run from fifth place this season.

History

Both sides have never met in a Premier Cricket Grand Final, with their last meeting in Round Four this year. The Centurions prevailed by nine wickets, with Jaron Morgan and Michael Swart hammering centuries, however a two-day fixture has the potential to be vastly different.

Form

The finals have been a prosperous time for Joondalup and Subiaco Floreat, remaining unbeaten throughout, with Subi winning their last four games of the regular season just to qualify for the series.

Joondalup smashed Perth in their first week of finals, before a thrilling victory over Fremantle sealed their Grand Final spot.

Subi have done it the hard way, beating second placed Fremantle, before claiming the prize scalp of minor premiers Claremont-Nedlands, in a major upset.

Team News

Joondalup: Michael Swart(c), Jaron Morgan, Clinton Hinchliffe, Garrick Morgan, James Boyland, Mitchell Dixon, Josh Anderson, Michael Johnson, Simon Branston, Ty Hopes, Josh Inglis.

Subiaco Floreat: Christopher Hansberry(c), Alexander Malcolm, Anthony Murphy, Calum How, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Lilly, Geremy Fatouros, Tim Monteleone, Andrew Holder, Ashley Blake, James Sansalone, Jason Behrendorff, Cameron Green.

 

Key inclusions headline the team news; with Sheffield Shield finishing up, some Western Australian representatives will add some class to the fixture.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis returns for Joondalup after a stellar back-end of the season with the Warriors, while young gun Cameron Green returns for Subi in a major boost.

Jason Behrendorff is a chance to represent Subiaco Floreat, with teammate Nathan Coulter-Nile taking his place for the Lions as a batsman.

Michael Swart, James Boyland and Alex Malcolm are all likely to play their final games for their respective clubs with retirements looming.

Jaron Morgan looms as a game breaker at the top of the Centurions batting line-up, with Andrew Holder the danger man with the ball for Subiaco Floreat after topping the wicket-takers list.


Keys

Given the strength of both bowling attacks, runs on the board will be critical for the result of the fixture.

Both teams have plenty of finals experience after recent success in the past decade, with runs at the top of the order vital. Malcolm and Anthony Murphy will be keen to score big for Subi, with Garrick Morgan and Clint Hinchliffe the most prominent run scorers for the Centurions. Hinchliffe and Inglis memorably scored hundreds in this fixture two years ago.

Subiaco Floreat will boast a near-state attack with key inclusions meaning their fast bowling stocks have increased. Green has come off three Sheffield Shield games and an injury, as he looks to dominate the Joondalup batsmen.

Holder has collected more than 50 wickets this season as the competition’s standout bowler, while skipper Chris Hansberry will hope for key wickets with his spin.

Ex-Scarborough quick Simon Branston has had an excellent finals campaign with the ball taking 12 wickets overall, while Boyland provides the experience with over 500 First Grade wickets over his successful career. Ty Hopes and Josh Anderson provide stability, with Hinchliffe a chance to bowl as well.

Match Details

Joondalup v Subiaco Floreat

Saturday & Sunday 25-26 March, 10.30am

WACA Ground

Broadcast: 91.3 Sport FM

Follow @WAPremCricket on Twitter for updates

Umpires: Nathan Johnstone & Todd Rann

-Elliot Raiter