17 March 2023

The best two teams all year fight it out in the WDCA Grand Final

| Jarryd Rowley
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Cricketers and umpires

The Wagga City Cats and the Kooringal Colts will battle it out for the Wagga District Cricket Association premiership on Saturday. Both Kooringal captain Hamish Starr (middle right) and Wagga City captain Josh Thompson (middle left) are expecting a hard-fought contest. Photo: Kooringal Colts/Facebook.

After going undefeated all season, the Wagga City Cats dropped their first game to a fighting Kooringal Colts side in the semi-final. Now two weeks later both teams will play off again to decide which team will be the Wagga District Cricket Association’s champions of 2022/23.

Last year, the Cats fell agonisingly short, losing to South Wagga in one of the games of the year. A year later captain/coach Josh Thompson believes the cats are hungrier than ever to take that one step further.

“You never like losing a grand final,” he said.

“Losing in the way that we did last year isn’t fun, but we have another chance this weekend against a fired-up Colts side.

“We have to make sure that we are ready to win the 50-50 moments. We have played at Robinson Oval for five weeks in a row now so we know the conditions and should be well prepared.”

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The teams have met three times this year with Wagga City leading the ledger two to one.

“We’ve beaten them twice this year, but they beat us most recently and when it counted,” Thompson said.

“Up until that point we were undefeated, so it probably was a wake-up call losing that final. It was the attitude adjustment we needed.”

The Colts will look to win their first premiership since 2015 but are expecting a close game against a well-oiled Cats line-up.

“They (the Cats) have been thereabouts for a number of years,” Kooringal Colts coach Keenan Hanigan said.

“Obviously it’s been almost a decade since we’ve lifted the trophy; we only have three guys left from that premiership-winning squad.

“We expect them to hit back hard after a tight one a couple of weeks ago. Just like the other three games this year we are expecting a close hard contest and we just have to make sure we are ready for that.”

The Colts coach said the players were full of confidence after the six-run win a fortnight ago but admitted they would need to take their chances when presented.

“They were undefeated during the regular season for a reason they’re a good side, they obviously won in 2020 and were just short last year.

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“If we make sure we don’t throw away our wickets and continue to apply pressure, whether that’s with the bat or ball, that will help us get over the line.”

Despite taking the long way round to the grand final, Wagga City believe they have momentum on their side and are well prepared for Saturday’s showdown.

“It’s going to come down to the wire on Saturday unfortunately, but we believe playing that extra game last week gives us the momentum we need to best prepare us for what is gearing up to be a close one on Saturday.”

The sides will meet each other at 11:30 am on Saturday 18 March at Robertson Oval.

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