Mooroopna and Central Park-St Brendan's will cross swords in a bid to win Cricket Shepparton's one-day final on Sunday.DAMEN FRANCIS AND MATTHEW GALEA January 31, 2014 4:10am
Mooroopna star Shane Hughan and Central Park-St Brendan’s coach Tim Kelly will vie for the Cricket Shepparton one-day trophy at Deakin Reserve on Sunday.
Two clubs intent on restoring a formidable reputation will do battle at Deakin Reserve on Sunday.
Weather permitting, Mooroopna and Central Park-St Brendan’s will contest the Cricket Shepparton one-day final, just three weeks after playing out a final-ball thriller at the same venue.
The Cats triumphed by one run that day, but will go into the decider as the slightest of underdogs, based purely on their opponent’s incredible record in the competition.
The Tigers have played in all but one of the deciders since the competition’s inception in season 2002-03, winning seven of the 10 on offer, after Old Students lifted the inaugural trophy.
However, after three straight triumphs, the powerhouse lost out to modern-day foe Karramomus last year.
Present skipper Brendan Scott said the club’s proud recent history was a motivation, not a curse.
‘‘It was a very strong and experienced side many years ago, when the one-day format did start and we had Rohan Larkin,’’ Scott said.
‘‘The quality of the players and experience then has suited our team and with the amount of all-rounders we’ve had we’ve always had someone to fill the void.
‘‘We had a good captain in Rohan Larkin, who has been good in terms of (emphasising) winning enough games to make finals and he was well-respected throughout the association.
‘‘We might have a few more experienced heads and (Mooroopna) might have a few blokes that are nervous.
‘‘At the end of the day it’s just another game, but our young guys got to play in the one-day final last year, so hopefully that helps them.’’
Brendan Kenna played in all seven of those winning teams, but is in the opposite corner this year — if not on the field.
The Cats’ coach wants to help return his new club to the glory days of the 1990s.
‘‘Winning would be the first step in regaining some of the respect of the halcyon days at Mooroopna,’’ Kenna said.
‘‘Guys like Greg Luscombe, Peter Wallace, Frank Fisher and Kym Sugars were ruthless. They played the game hard, but within the rules of the game and that’s what we want this group to get back to.
‘‘Ultimately it’s the one-day final and we want to be going after the Haisman Shield, but this is the first step.’’
Both leaders identified Ramadan Yze’s availability as a major boost for the Tigers, with his ability to open the bowling and bat in the middle-order making him a genuine all-rounder.
Callum Whitehead, Nathan Berry and Sam Ferguson are also in the mix and could be required, with a gruelling day in the field against Euroa expected tomorrow.
For Mooroopna, Brodie McDonald, Clint Thomas and Guy Madigan will come under consideration.
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Although still not at their best, Mulwala have finished on top of the Murray League ladder after a comfortable victory over Cobram.
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