Moama Black and Echuca South will do battle today and tomorrow in Goulburn Murray Cricket's under 14 grand final.LUKE MCMANUS March 5, 2014 4:05am
Moama’s Todd Murphy (left) and Echuca South’s Grady Smith will battle for the under 14 trophy today.
Was Moama Black’s upset loss to Rochester United a sign of things to come, or just a minor bump in the road to ultimate success?
It is a question which could plague the top side as it prepares to contest the under 14 Goulburn Murray Cricket grand final against Echuca South today.
After six rounds, Moama Black was undefeated with only a final round clash against ninth placed Rochester United remaining.
Moama Black stumbled at the final hurdle however, bowled out for 96 in the 30th over on day one before United surpassed the total with a wicket to spare on Thursday.
The loss was rather uncharacteristic of Moama Black, the side boasting an average score of 176 this season, bolstered by its 303-run total set in round three.
Asked whether the defeat could have an impact on its premiership tilt, coach Barry Moyle said only time would tell.
‘‘The result will look after itself, hopefully that’s the only hiccup,’’ he said.
‘‘I think the boys may have got a bit ahead of themselves (last week), but taking nothing away from United, they deserved to win, no doubt about that.
‘‘It may have been the reality check we needed.’’
Positive reinforcement would be the order of the day.
‘‘It’s just another day of cricket,’’ Moyle said.
‘‘I’m just going to tell the boys to enjoy themselves, relax, don’t try changing anything and back (their) ability.’’
Moyle said the key to his side’s success this season was due to an even spread of contributors, on top of the exceptional leadership shown by respected captain Todd Murphy.
The same qualities stem from Echuca South, according to coach Gary Williams, except the role of skipper was shared round with the aim of spreading the responsibility.
The grand final duties were bestowed on Grady Smith during the week.
‘‘I made the conscious decision to give the job to Grady,’’ Williams said.
‘‘He’s been a key member of our top-order and shown some great leadership qualities.
‘‘And that’s what it’s about, encouraging the boys to learn leadership qualities, teach them about sportsmanship, respect for one another and have some fun at the same time.’’
Echuca South also finished with a 6-1 record after a strong regular season and will look to continue a run of form which has netted five consecutive wins.
‘‘We’re really looking forward to the game, both sides are strong so should be a great contest.’’
The match is scheduled for a 4.30pm start at Brick Alley Oval, with play continuing the same time tomorrow.
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