Grand final rivalry continues

March 10, 2018

TWO teams with a long history against each other and the opportunity to claim the A grade premiership.

TWO teams with a long history against each other and the opportunity to claim the A grade premiership.

When it comes to this league, this is one of its true rivalries.

For the past three years, these clubs have gone to war in the grand final.

In fact, in the first six years of this still young competition, every grand final has featured at least one of these clubs.

Truly, they are the two dominant forces of the league. But this weekend, previous seasons mean nothing.

This season’s form is an indicator of how close the game could be.

When the teams faced off in round three, United took the chocolates.

Making 191, United bowled Kyabram out for 187 to take victory.

When they faced off again in round 12, it was a different story.

67’s from Newman and Charlton saw Kyabram make a stunning 324, before 6/34 by new recruit Michael Mattingly saw United all out for 107.

It remains United’s sole loss for the season.

That doesn’t worry United captain Tim Bubb.

‘‘I think we learnt a lot about ourselves in that game,’’ Bubb said.

‘‘We bowled really well in the opening stages of that match, probably for the first 20 overs or so but then we let them get away.

‘‘We didn’t take our chances, we put a few down and that’s the thing with cricket, if you don’t take those opportunities then the game gets away from you really quickly.’’

Bubb says his team is ready for the challenge, with the lure of a third premiership in a row the motivating factor.

‘‘The feeling of winning a premiership, it’s honestly the best feeling in the world,’’ Bubb said.

‘‘Especially for the guys who have been around for a really long time, you don’t know how much more cricket they are going to get, so you feel a desire to get another flag for them.

‘‘It’s going to be a big challenge. Kyabram are a very good team but we know that our best cricket can beat them. We will push as hard as we can to get a victory. We know what we need to do differently to beat them so it’s about executing those areas.’’

Kyabram know about being on both sides of the grand final.

This weekend they will enter their fifth consecutive grand final.

In the first four, they are two and two.

Captain Daniel Kent said his group was feeling confident about the grand final.

‘‘We have confidence based on that victory a few weeks ago,’’ Kent said.

‘‘In the last few years we had lost a fair few games to them, which probably has an impact on you when you get to the pointy end.

‘‘This year being able to go into this grand final saying you have that victory, it’s a massive boost for our confidence knowing that we can get it done.’’

Kent said the showing by his players in big moments throughout the season added to the confidence.

‘‘When you have a guy like Paul Newman, who is a great mate of mine, show up sick and dominate with the bat like he did last weekend, it galvenises the group to an extent.

‘‘Seeing your teammate fight through something like that to help lift his team up. It rubs off on the guys.’’

The A grade grand final will be played this weekend at Moama.

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