CRICKET Albury-Wodonga will field its strongest representative team of the summer in Sunday’s SCG Cup Riverina final against Wagga at Tallangatta.
Selectors have brought in a host of stars including Bushies’ top guns Andrew Lade, Steve Wood and Mat Armstrong, last year’s leading runscorer Ash Borella and Wodonga batsman James Tonkin.
Coach Trent Ball was one of the players who was forced out of the line-up.
Ball said yesterday CAW was eager to stay alive in the competition and earn a return appearance at the SCG.
“Guys have forced their way into the team through performance,” Ball said.
“Mitch O’Brien is really stiff.
“He’s has been in great form, but we believe we have the right balance in the 12 we have picked.”
Ball said CAW wouldn’t be taking Wagga lightly with the associations staging many outstanding battles going back to the O’Farrell Cup.
“It’s a great side, but Sunday will determine how great the side is really,” he said.
“We have all bases covered from pace to spin, right and left hand bats, and everyone is in form.
“We have got the balance that we wanted.
“This is probably one of the best fielding sides we would put on the park.
“I’m looking forward to guys taking on Brendan Simmons, James McNeil and James Tonkin in the field.”
Wagga will bank heavily on its potent top-order to bring down CAW.
With the visitors expecting a pitch full of runs, the association will turn to in-form batsmen Jorden Lawrence, Jono Nicoll, Mick Mattingly and Joel Robinson to apply pressure to CAW’s attack.
The quartet have scored centuries at club level this season with Nicoll taking apart Murray Valley’s attack in their last SCG match.
“Our top-order has been making good runs,” Robinson, who will captain the side, said yesterday.
“Hopefully we can put a good score on the board.
“From what I hear Tallangatta is a good wicket.
“We’re looking forward to it.”
Although CAW defeated Wagga in the first round of last year’s series, the addition of Nicoll and Mitch Sykes has dramatically bolstered its stocks.
Wagga will name its side in the next 48 hours.
The CAW team is: Ash Borella, Nat Sariman, James McNeil (c), Andrew Lade, James Tonkin, Mat Armstrong, Steve Wood, Brendan Simmons, Ashan Ranaweera, Ryan Brown, Paul Conolly, Cameron White. Emerg: Mitch O‘Brien, Will Brown, Byron Hales.