Rochester Tigers and Rochester United will be playing for the Matt Dingwall memorial trophy on the weekend, named in honour of the Tigers stalwart who died on 2011.By Zach Hubber
Bragging rights are not the only thing on the line for Rochester Tigers and Rochester United when the sides meet at Windridge Oval on the weekend, with both sides looking to claim the Matt Dingwall memorial trophy.
The Tigers won the inaugural cricket match last season and claimed the perpetual ‘Dingers’ trophy, which was coined by both clubs after the Tigers stalwart died in 2011.
United captain Dylan Cuttriss said Dingwall was a good friend of both clubs and the two-day memorial match would continue each year.
Tigers captain Grant Wachter agreed, saying it was an important weekend for the neighbouring clubs.
‘‘Dingers was a pretty good mate to all of us, so it gives you a bit of incentive and inspiration to go out there and perform well and win,’’ he said.
Dingwall’s parents tossed the coin at the start of last year’s match and Cuttriss was hopeful they would do so again on Saturday.
But once the match starts, the captain said he expected the mood to be intense out on the ground.
‘‘We don’t like losing to each other, but off the field we’re all pretty good mates as well,’’ he said.
‘‘Once we cross that white line it gets pretty fierce, but we can still have a drink afterwards.
‘‘You come out here and it always steps up a little bit when you play these guys, regardless of where we’re at on the ladder and obviously it’s going to be a pretty important game come the end of the season.’’
United sits undefeated on the top of the Goulburn Murray Cricket ladder, while the Tigers are third on four wins and two losses.
Wachter said the challenge to perform would be greater than other matches.
‘‘There’s always more pressure when you’re playing against people you know and you never want to lose to them,’’ he said.
‘‘I suppose we kind of know the ins and outs after playing a lot of cricket with them, whether it be at school or as juniors.
‘‘There’s a bit of sledging in the weeks before it, but we can’t say much out there.’’
Last time the two sides met was in the Campaspe Cricket Association semi-final when United passed the Tigers’ score of 88 to win by seven wickets.
But the Tigers claimed the Dingwall trophy in the 2011-12 home and away season after defeating United by 22 runs in round five.
Cuttriss was confident in his side’s ability to obtain the trophy, despite the loss of Steve Rasmussen, who will miss the rest of the season after suffering bleeding on the brain last week.
The batsman was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Friday night to be treated.
Cuttriss said the loss was a massive blow, describing Rasmussen as ‘‘irreplaceable’’.
‘‘They’ve checked him out and fingers crossed he’ll be no worries and come out of it all fine,’’ he said.
‘‘He’s got pretty strong family and friends behind him and he should pull through.
‘‘I’m sure that’ll be a little extra incentive for us to get across the line.’’
Wachter was also mindful of how important a win would be for his players.
‘‘It would really set us up for the rest of the season,’’ he said.
‘‘Echuca’s only above us by a game and United by a game and a half, so if we can knock United off this week it can really set us up if we can finish off strongly.’’
The Tigers’ two losses this season have been by two runs and four wickets (with two balls to spare).
‘‘Come the end of the year it might be the difference, but it’d be good to knock off one of the top teams and get the confidence going for the rest of the year,’’ Wachter said.
After this round, the Tigers face Echuca South, Moama and Echuca, while United has Bunnaloo, Echuca and a bye.
United will also host its sponsors’ day on Sunday, with a barbecue and drinks available for supporters and players of both clubs.
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