HCA A Grade semi-final 2016-17: Rup-Minyip v Horsham Saints at Dudley Cornell

QUESTIONS: Tony Caccaviello, seen bowling against the Grampians, will return from injury to play in the semi-final. Picture: PETER PICKERING
QUESTIONS: Tony Caccaviello, seen bowling against the Grampians, will return from injury to play in the semi-final. Picture: PETER PICKERING

LAST season’s A Grade grand finalists will meet one week earlier in the 2016-17 season.

Rup-Minyip take on Horsham Saints at Dudley Cornell on Saturday and Sunday for the right to play in the grand final again.

For Rup-Minyip a win will mean an opportunity to defend its title whereas the Saints would get a chance to go one better than last year with a much more inexperience side.

Experience aside the teams have similar strengths and weaknesses on paper but Rup-Minyip have had the better of the Saints this season.

The consistent heavy lifting within each side is done by a core group of key players with both bat and ball.

This means that within each side there is great potential for other players within the 11 to stand up from game to game.

Each side can rely on its bowlers to do an effective job in the semi-final. For Rup-Minyip that comes from experience.

For the Saints it comes from a good depth within its attack that means if a bowler has an off day another one can be expected to step up to fill the void.

The turf wicket at Dudley Cornell usually provides a good even contest between bat and ball, which will be fitting for this game.

Key Players

Travis Hair – The Rup-Minyip captain provides regular runs in the side’s middle order and they usually flow very quickly. Can play a role to counter early wickets and potentially turn a game within a session.

Matt Downer – The top-order Rup-Minyip batsman’s absence from the side coincided with its loss of from. Will play a vital role negotiating the early venom of Caccaviello and Combe.

Ryan Metelmann –  In conjunction with opening partner Clint Midgley will want to pick up early wickets in order to expose an often fragile Saints middle order. Both can also score handy runs if called upon.

Matt Combe – The all-rounder has been a backbone of the Saints side all season. Started the season in particularly blistering form that saw him earn a spot in the Victoria Country side. In a young side is a cool and reliable head who offers strong leadership.

Justtin Combe – The Saints opener has threatened to score big many times this season but may have hit peak form at the right time with a century against Jung last round. 

​Tony Caccaviello – Questions hover over the fitness of the big Saints fast bowler as he plans his return from a quad injury sustained in round 11. In full flight is one the biggest bowling weapons in the league. Young bowlers Jono Carroll and Zac Hamerston have gained invaluable experience in his absence.

  • The Dudley Cornell semi-final starts at 1pm.