Frenchville skipper urges team to play with confidence
CRICKET: They've been neck-and-neck all season and now arch-rivals Frenchville and Gracemere will face off in what promises to be a gripping grand final series.
The teams finished on equal points after the regular season, with the for-and-against ratio needed to determine Frenchville as the minor premiers.
The first game in the best-of-three grand final series will be played today at the Rockhampton Cricket Grounds.
Frenchville skipper Joe McGahan said his players were ready to go and keen to get off to a winning start.
"My message to the boys will be play with confidence,” he said.
"We know games between us and Gracemere always come down to the wire.
"We've got to make sure everybody is doing their jobs throughout the day.
"We need to be up and about for the whole 50 overs when we're in the field and play as hard as possible.”
McGahan said anything over 200 would be an ideal score and hard to chase down in the pressure environment of a final.
He said while runs on the board were important, he would not be fazed if Frenchville had to bowl first.
"We've chased well in the past and we've set some decent totals so it doesn't really matter too much,” he said.
"All of our bowlers have been consistent and accurate and our top order has fired for most of the season so we'll be looking to build a good performance off the back of those guys.”
McGahan said batting brothers Lachlan and Brent Hartley and bowlers Chaice Bidgood and Logan Whitfield would be key for Frenchville.
"Both Hartleys have been really dominant for us this season. They like to bat time and from there we've got a pretty strong middle order who are able to score plenty of runs - and quickly as well,” he said.
"Chaice and Logan have been doing particularly well for us. They've taken heaps of wickets and bowled tightly so we'll be looking to those two to lead us with the ball.”
McGahan said Gracemere's danger men were paceman Ben Milne, who had the ability to break a game wide open, and dynamic middle-order batsman Todd Harmsworth who could rattle up runs in quick time.
Games two and three of the series will be played next weekend.
10am today: Game 1 of the Frenchville Sports Club A-grade grand final series, Frenchville v Gracemere, Rockhampton Cricket Grounds
10am today: Frenchville Sports Club reserve grade semi-final: Gracemere v Norths, Rockhampton Cricket Ground
10am tomorrow: Frenchville Sports Club third grade semi-final: Gracemere v Rocky United, Rockhampton Cricket Ground