WITH the AFL Grand Final run and won and today marking the first day in October, it means one thing… it’s officially cricket season. The Leongatha and District Cricket Association will get underway next weekend, with season 2013/14 promising to be one of the best yet as many expect an even competition. After last season’s thrilling grand final win by OMK, coming from the last ball over the Wonthaggi Workers, this season is one of anticipation.
Jason Wilson and his OMK side will be looking to extend on the success of last season while the previously dominant finals force that is the Workers will be looking to avenge for last season’s heartbreak. Inverloch, runners-up in 2011/12 and semi-finalists last season, are confident they can force their way back into the top echelon of teams at the pointy end of the season and make an impression come the finals. Nerrena, who raced into the finals after a poor start last season, will be hoping for a better start this time around and a stronger finals position. The Imperials could be one side that are confident of returning to finals action in the A1 division after the return of fast bowler Adam Eddy and batsman Trent Perczyk. They will again be pitched against long time neighbours and foes Leongatha Town, who return after claiming the A2 premiership last season at the expense of the Wonthaggi Miners. Just how the Scorpions adjust to the increased competition is always an interesting challenge in what is a long season.
The club is confident of avoiding the dreaded ‘yoyo year’ between A1 and A2 and will put some serious pressure on opposition sides under co-coaches Joe O’Loughlin and Amila Ratnayake. Korumburra and Phillip Island add some interest with unknown factors in A1, losing key names to their sides. Korumburra will miss the all-round talents of Udara Weerasinghe who is not returning, while the Island will be without LDCA representatives Shane Murdoch and Eli Richards. In A2, the Miners will be hoping to find themselves straight back up into the top grade after one season, but will have challenges on their hands from the likes of last year’s runners-up Koonwarra-Leongatha RSL. The Cougars, as with most years, will start as favourites after coming close last season and with Sam Hughes staying at the top of the batting line-up. Kilcunda-Bass will be captained by former Wonthaggi Miner Andy Donohue and will be confident of finals action as will MDU, Glen Alvie and Fish Creek-Tarwin. After tough seasons last year, both Poowong-Loch and Foster are positive and are looking forward to improvement in their young playing ranks.