The Greater Illawarra Zone under 14 boys cricket side will attempt to become just the second Illawarra-based team to take out the Harold Moore Shield in more than 61 years when they face Newcastle in Sunday’s grand final.
The boys swept aside their Sydney rivals throughout the competition, losing just one game to South Eastern, before defeating the ACT on Sunday to book their spot in the final.
Sunday’s victory over ACT was highlighted by handy contributions from a number of players, with Lachlan Malcolm, Willoughby Watson and Callum Milsom all impressing with bat and ball.
Coach Scott Needham said the team boasts a host of talented, well-rounded individuals.
“It’s pretty amazing for this team to make the grand final,” Needham said. “They’re a talented group of boys that have just gelled really well and understand what it means to play as a team.
“Basically every player bats and bowls. We bat all the way down to number 11 and most weeks we’re using nine or ten bowlers.
“We can throw the ball to anybody and know they’ll be able to do a job. It’s the same with the bat, even if we lose early wickets, we know we’re still in with a chance.”
Greater Illawarra and Newcastle faced off in a trial prior to the start of the competition, with Newcastle claiming a narrow victory. Needham said that result will motivate the boys on Sunday.
“Newcastle pipped us in the trial, but talking to the boys about it, they all said ‘they got us last time, they won’t get us again’.
“We just have to keep doing what we’ve done every week, walk out with confidence whether we’re batting, bowling or fielding and trust our ability and instincts.
“If we do that every ball, then at the end of the game, we’ll have done enough.”
The grand final comes as the under 16s CS Watson Shield dream came to an end on Sunday, with the side falling 72 runs short of Newcastle’s target.
Zac de Hosson took two wickets, while Northern Districts junior Daniel Wark top-scored with 26 runs.