THEY are yet to meet so far this season in the shortened version of the game, but both Tuross Head and Bay Tigers Gold were in confident moods this week ahead of tomorrow’s Twenty20 A grade grand final.
The Tigers did all that was required in their three pool matches to qualify for the decider undefeated, while Tuross Head won a southern double-header last weekend to reach its first grand final of any kind since 2008.
In what seemed like a twist of fate, Tuross Head defeated the Bay Tigers in that 2008 decider to take out the season premiership.
And influential batsman Nick Mason was quietly confident the men from down south could pull off a repeat act against the overwhelming favourites tomorrow.
“The Tigers have always been a strong team and it’s their type of game really,” he said yesterday.
“But on the turf (wicket) we have to take advantage with our bowling because they like to get under the ball.
“Rhys Voysey and Les Roberts-Thompson are great on any surface, but with Les he’s got a few change-up balls and Rhys has got a nice bit of zip about him, and they tend to worry most batsmen in this comp.
“It’s a toss of the coin – if things go our way against the Tigers, they tend to really go our way, so hopefully we can trigger a bit of a collapse this weekend.”
Mason admitted his side was “lucky” at times during last Saturday’s double header, where Tuross Head enjoyed wins over Bodalla and last season’s grand finalist Dalmeny-Narooma.
“We got a bit lucky with our wickets last week and even though it’s only a twenty20, we’ve still got to value our wickets a little bit more and we’ve got to stay in for 20 overs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bay Tigers Black skipper Gavin Smart was confident his side could “get the job done” despite the fact it will be without opening batsman Paul Gallen and pace bowler Dan Walsh.
Lachlan Patterson, who missed last weekend’s derby against Bay Tigers Gold, looks to set to slot in for Walsh, while Smart said he needed to “ruffle up one more” in order to replace Gallen.
One man who will be there for the defending T20 champions is Gavin’s brother Mick Smart, who belted an unbeaten 63 in the derby to take control of the match.
Despite that effort, Gavin Smart refused to single out a best player for his side so far and said all his troops had “given it a good go” during the T20s.
Gavin Smart belted a massive century in last season’s T20 grand final, but he warned that this weekend’s visitors to Hanging Rock Oval had strike weapons of their own.
“They (Tuross Head) seem to have hit some good form with the return of Tim Hartshorn,” Gavin Smart said.
“He’s obviously a big wicket so we’ll be trying to get him out nice and early.”