Central Coast will attempt to win its fifth Country Cricket title of the season on Sunday when it meets ACT Southern Districts in the final of the McDonald’s NSW Country Championships at North Dalton Park in Wollongong.
On Tuesday night at the SCG, the Central Coast Rush claimed their first ever Plan B Regional Bash T20 crown that added to the three titles already won at the McDonald’s Country Colts, Under 16 Bradman Cup and Under 14 Kookaburra Cup.
The four titles have already secured the Hogg Silver Shield as the champion zone in NSW Country cricket for 2018/19.
Central Coast will be seeking to end a run of two straight losses in Country Championships finals. It was defeated by Western zone in 2016/17 and lost the 2017/18 final to Newcastle.
Both teams finished on top of their respective qualifying groups in November. Central Coast finished first in the Northern Pool and ACT Southern Districts were undefeated in the Southern Pool.
The Rush defeated the ACT Aces in the Regional Bash final, and in many respects, the Country Championships decider is a replay of that match.
The Central Coast have named the same squad that won the Regional Bash, while several members of the Aces have also been selected for ACT Southern Districts.
As he did on Tuesday, Peter Gallichan will again captain Central Coast on Sunday.
ACT Southern Districts captain Daniel Leerdam and wicketkeeper Tom Vane Tempest recently represented ACT/NSW Country during the four-day Toyota Futures League T20 carnival at Blacktown International Sports Park in late January.
During the preliminary rounds of the Country Championships, Vane Tempest scored 126 runs at 42 and completed four catches.
Central Coast batsman Steve McCabe is another who was in good form throughout those qualifying rounds.
McCabe made 133 runs from two visits to the crease including a highest score of 118 not out against North Coastal.
He also scored a dynamic 77 not out from 48 balls against the Coffs Coast Chargers in the Sixers Conference Final of the Regional Bash at the SCG on Tuesday that helped his side into the decider.
North Coastal batter Justin Moore is the leading run-scorer in the championships to date with 228 runs at the excellent average of 114.
Spinner Blair Lindsay was the leading wicket taker for Central Coast during the preliminary rounds. He claimed nine scalps at 10.89.
Riverina seamer Cameron Suidgeest is the leading wicket taker with 11 scalps at 12.18 including best figures of 5-51.
|Peter Gallichan ( c )||Narara Wyoming|
|Kobe Allison||The Entrance|
|Chris Archer||Northern Power|
|Scott Burkinshaw||Lisarow Ourimbah|
|Ben Cohen||Brisbane Waters|
|Broc Hardy||The Entrance|
|Jack Heuston||Kincumber Avoca|
|Blair Lindsay||Lisarow Ourimbah|
|Steve McCabe||Kincumber Avoca|
|Adam Taylor||The Entrance|
|Harry Woodhead||Kincumber Avoca|
|ACT Southern Districts|
|Daniel Leerdam ( c )||Australian National University|
|Tom Atallah||Weston Creek Molonglo|
|Adam Blacka||Tathra (Far South Coast)|
|Owen Chivers||Australian National University|
|Scott Murn||Australian National University|
|Michael Ninneman||Australian National University|
|Esam Rahman||North Canberra Gungahlin|
|John Rogers||Weston Creek Molonglo|
|Brad Smith||Hibo CC (Goulburn)|
|Tom Vane Tempest||Tuggeranong Valley|