1. SCG CUP FINAL
THEY fell at the final hurdle, but Cricket Albury-Wodonga’s charge to SCG Cup final last summer was undoubtedly the Border cricket story of the year.
CAW’s best cricketers fulfilled life-long dreams when they took on Merewether at the Sydney Cricket Ground in February.
While the 117-run loss wasn’t the fairytale finish the boys had hoped for, captain James Tonkin raised a very valid point after the defeat:
“If someone told us we’d be playing in the SCG Cup final at the start of the year a few people would have laughed at us.”
2. PREMIER PANTHERS
LAVINGTON stunned the competition when it charged to last season’s premiership.
Under the guidance of Aaron West and Robbie Mackinlay, the young squad not only made the decider, but shocked plenty with a 23-run win over league heavyweight St Patrick’s in the grand final.
Andrew Taylor was the star of the show, smashing 74 runs, while Liam Scammell, Sam Harris and Steve Keene also played their part in the victory.
3. TRENT TEES OFF
TRENT Ball isn’t afraid to share his opinion and the representative coach was left none-too-impressed when news filtered through that New City and Wodonga Raiders would be promoted to the Provincial competition this summer.
Ball labelled the move “a waste of time” and said those responsible for making the call weren’t making it in the best interests of the competition.
The star batsman was left slightly red-faced when he was dismissed for a duck by the Raiders earlier this month.
The boys from Birallee Park certainly let Ball know about it, too.
4. THE RACE TO 1000
ROBBIE Jackson and Andrew Lade certainly haven’t wasted any time reminding anyone of their place in the CAW pecking order, with the pair of star batsmen smashing over 600 runs already this season.
To put that statistic in perspective, Ash Borella’s haul of 578 runs last season was the best.
There’s still five rounds to go.
Whether Jackson and/or Lade can break the magical milestone of 1000 runs remains to be seen.
5. BRUCK BRILLIANCE
WANGARATTA heavyweight Bruck only strengthened its stranglehold on the competition when it captured its fourth premiership in the space of five seasons last summer.
Bruck edged out Beechworth in the decider, only further etching its place in the WDCA history books.
There’s every chance they could add another flag this summer, too, with Bruck currently in second spot on the ladder and well in contention for another crack at glory.
6. KONICA CONQUERED
CRICKET Albury-Wodonga announced itself to the rest of NSW when it stunned the rest of the state to claim the Konica-Minolta Cup.
The one-wicket triumph over Canberra team Weston Creek marked the return of CAW as a force in representative cricket after a decade in the wilderness.
It was only a sign of things to come, as CAW charged to the final of the SCG Cup. Coach Trent Ball labelled the win the most satisfying of his career.
“We got no respect from the Canberra teams and the Sydney teams, for that matter, in the SCG Cup,” he said.
“We just call ourselves the CAWs and the Cowboys and we’re taking the cup back to the bush.”
7. ... AND STAY OUT
NEW City president Anthony Baker left little to the imagination when asked about the premature departure of English imports Sam Drury and Ben Kohler-Cadmore on the eve of last summer’s District finals.
Baker slammed the pair, saying they had created “ill-feeling” at the club.
“We are happy to let them go early,” Baker said at the time.
“We’ve been organising work since they’ve been here and with some jobs we’ve organised they just haven’t turned up.
“They’ve treated the residences they’ve stayed at with disrespect.
“We just found they didn’t fit the mould of club people which we expected.
“They started off saying and doing the right things but as the season went on that wore off.”
8. POWER SURGE
FOR years it was dogged by horrible luck when it came to grand finals, but Mount Beauty put that well and truly in the past when the Power surged to back-to-back District titles last summer.
After losing the 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2006 grand finals, it was just reward for the country club.
9. HOPPER HOLE
GREG Daniel’s final season at North Albury was one for the history books.
The veteran all-rounder finished his CAW career with a bang, taking a competition-high 39 wickets and finishing second in runs scored for the season with 529.
The traditionally strong Hoppers are floating on the fringe of finals at the moment and it’s no coincidence, considering they’ve lost their best player.
Daniel has started the summer in strong fashion for home club City Colts in the WDCA.
10. CAW TO ASHES
THIS year’s Ashes series in England had a Border link, but for the old enemy, not Australia.
Former Tallangatta cricketer Paul Coughlin was a substitute fieldsman for the Poms in the fourth Test at Durham.
In a fairytale rise from obscurity, the promising all-rounder fulfilled many a life-long dream by joining the likes of Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad in the English changerooms.
Paul might get a game soon, the way things are going.