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Tongala, Kyabram Fire Brigade face off for premiership

Blues captain Andrew Good is banking on his bowlers to upset the flames at Moama Oval tomorrow.

LUKE MCMANUS March 14, 2014 4:30am

Tongala captain Andrew Good believes his side boasts one of the strongest bowling attacks in Goulburn Murray Cricket.

But will it be enough to challenge Kyabram Fire Brigade for the 2013-14 premiership at Moama Oval tomorrow?

Darin Ohlsen, A grade’s leading wicket taker this season, combined with Good and paceman Andrew Nunn to demolish the then undefeated Rochester Tigers in a thrilling preliminary final win last Sunday.

Ohlsen (5/46) took his season’s fourth five-wicket haul and Nunn (2/38) dispelled doubts surrounding a troublesome injury with an important 19-over spell, the paceman’s longest stint with the ball for the season.

‘‘We bowled and fielded really well,’’ Good said.

‘‘Not everyone could get a bowl which was unfortunate but when the game’s in the balance, you just have to play it by year and do what you have to do.

‘‘Thankfully, Ohlsen, Nunny (Adam Nunn) and myself were bowling well enough.

‘‘The most exciting thing was Nunny’s spell. Getting him right for finals has been a major bonus. It means we now have another bowler capable of taking wickets.’’

Good said the variation and depth of his attack troubled the best teams in the competition and played a major part in Tongala finishing an unlikely fourth place.

The Blues featured one less win than a lower-placed Moama, their finals campaign saved by two outright wins secured earlier on the piece, against cellar dwellers Northern United and Stanhope.

‘‘The way we were travelling, I didn’t think we would reach the grand final,’’ Good said.

‘‘Our batting has struggled all season so we’re hoping our bowling can really feature in this game and go a long way to helping us win.

‘‘Saying that you can’t rely on one area. Quite a few of our players are due for runs so hopefully they can hit some form at the right time and we can get enough runs on the board.’’

Tongala needs all the firepower it can muster to contend with the might of Kyabram Fire Brigade.

Skipper Daniel Kent has a well-balanced team at his disposal tomorrow, with the Flames’ overseas talent Tyrone Isitt (South Africa) and Joe Taylor (England) leading the way.

Isitt is a proven match-winner, with the bat and ball, while Taylor is fresh from a quality 81-run knock against Echuca last weekend.

One of the Flames’ strengths this season has been the depth of its batting according to their skipper, contributing to important partnerships and notable scorelines throughout its near-flawless 2013-14.

‘‘Our form has been pretty good all season, there’s been a couple of times we’ve been in trouble with the bat but we’ve been able to dig ourselves out,’’ Kent said.

‘‘We don’t rely on one or two guys. A sign of a good side is having 11 contributors.

‘‘To have our number seven come in and make 30 runs at the end of an innings, can make all the difference.’’

Bolstered by this strength and up against an opposition with a shaky batting card in Tongala, Kent has already outlined his intentions.

‘‘I think early wickets can really put them on the back foot, they haven’t made too many big scores this season,’’ Kent said.

‘‘Saying that they do have a dangerous middle-order, so taking some early wickets might trigger some demons that might be in the back of their minds.’’

Kent will go in with an unchanged line-up that claimed a 102-run win against Echuca on Sunday but made a special mention to Brett Andison who missed out on selection due to prior commitments.

Tongala’s Good made one change overnight which will see Chris Hamilton replace Mark Scown.

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