ROUND one of Horsham Cricket Association’s A Grade will see a re-match of the one day grand final, a clash between perennial contenders and a match-up between two sides hoping to move up the ladder.
Jung were comfortably beaten by Homers in the 2016-17 one day grand final and captain Tyler Neville knows it is will be a big challenge for his side first up at Sunnyside.
“They put us to the sword in that grand final but we’re always looking to improve,” he said.
The Jung side will likely have a familiar feel at its core with most players returning again this season.
Neville is confident that the young players in his squad will contribute even more in 2017-18.
“Some of the young faces will be stronger this season after another year of experience,” he said
“Sam Leith and Tyler Puls have both showed promising signs.”
Jarred Combe and Craig Britten will share captaincy of a Homers side defending both the two-day and one-day titles.
The core of the side’s batting lineup remains strong despite the loss of Lachie Jones.
The experience of Simon and Chris Hopper will be well backed up by Sandy Hodge, Adam Atwood and Eddie Landwehr.
The Horsham Saints will travel to Rupanyup to take on a Rup-Minyip side that may find it things difficult in the first half of the season.
Blue Panthers captain Travis Hair expected his side to light on numbers early.
“I think we could be the easy-beats in the first half but then hopefully we’ll be stronger,” he said.
The side will have to cover for the retirement of association legend Paul Morgan while opening bowler Clint Midgley needs to recover from a broken hand.
Ryan Metelmann will shoulder much of the bowling workload early with support from the returning Brent Hudson.
Hair and Matthew Downer will be relied upon with the bat along with Daniel Schaper.
Saints captain Tony Caccaviello will provide plenty of venom with the new ball.
“We had a young side last year so another year of experience for Corey Smith and Josh Hedt will help them a lot,” he said.
“New recruits Austin Smith and Tim Braendler will bring some more energy to the side as well.”
Laharum will host Blackheath-Dimboola in the final game of the first round.
Both sides will aim to force their way into finals this season and will hope to get off to the best possible start. Dan Griffiths, Josh Mahoney and Ben Peucker will be key for Laharum.
Blackheath-Dimboola’s Lachie Watts will look to back up a season that earned him a spot in the Western Waves team of the season but he will require more support than in 2016-17.