Cowra representative side ready for first test

Cowra's rep side headed to Queanbeyan's Freebody Oval last weekend for a preseason trial match.
Cowra's rep side headed to Queanbeyan's Freebody Oval last weekend for a preseason trial match.

Cowra's Western Zone Premier League cricketers will have the home ground advantage this Sunday when they launch their 2020/21 season.

Premier League Captain, Mick Curtale, said the side was raring to go this weekend.

"We've prepared as well as we can this season so the boys will be good to go from ball one," he said.

"We've had a guy or two come from outside the original 12 we were going to pick who will be playing this weekend.

"A few of the guys have developed their game a bit more, which is good to see, we'll bring a bit more to the table and if we get it right we'll be more than competitive."

Curtale acknowledged the side's recent record stood against them but said their focus was on winning the competition.

"As everyone knows we've only won one game in two seasons, but it's never put a dampener on the young guys or the squad," he said.

"Everyone is happy to play, to travel, everyone's bought into what we are doing and that's the thing I'm most proud of.

"After getting beat a fair bit, the boys keep turning up and it makes them want it more.

"So I'm hopeful, I'm also confident we'll see more results this season and we'll see a group of young guys develop into a good cricket team."

He said the side had a number of young talented players that were developing well.

"They're up and coming and turning into very good players," he said.

"We're playing to win but it is about development along the way. The way you learn is to win and that's our goal this year, to win as many games as possible and the whole thing.

"Young Mikey (McNamara) is only 16 and he's been working hard on his wicket keeping and batting, Ben Schofield is 17 he was our best batter last year and Emerson Baratto is our spearhead with the ball.

"These guys are still learning and learning on the run, which is making it more impressive that they are learning and improving as rapidly as they are."

This year saw all winter sports hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and cricket will be no different, however Curtale said it wouldn't affect them to much.

"I think we've done more this preseason than we ever have, the trial games and training, so it hasn't affected us there," he said.

"It's probably brought us closer together with the lack of winter sport and the boys being keen four to five weeks earlier than normal.

"Game day, it will be pretty much the same, obviously no sweat or saliva to shine the ball and no hi-fives.

"But it will be play on as usual and make sure we do the right thing so it doesn't bring the comp in danger of not being able to play."

He said while all sides would be abiding by the new COVID rules, it wouldn't affect the way teams played.

"Maybe they might play an extra spinner," he said.

"In the two trial games we played we haven't had an incident where we've had to pull someone up for shining the ball.

"I don't think it will affect anyone too much, most of the outfields are pretty lush, there's not too many bare outfields.

"The ball will rough up as usual but I don't think it will play that big a part."

President of the Cowra and District Cricket Association, Scott Wilson said he was looking forward to the rep side playing.

"We got a lot out of last Saturday's training run and the game against Queanbeyan," he said.

"There were some positive signs with the bat from a couple of the younger plays and I feel we bowled pretty well.

"So they should be ready to go this weekend."

He said the association was hoping to have people enjoying cricket throughout summer.

"We want a positive season overall, people enjoying cricket and getting it back out their through the Guardian and Facebook," he said.

"Promoting the juniors and youth, hopefully in the Lachlan Premier League the two Cowra sides can make the grand final."

Wilson said it was pleasing to have young talent playing and hoped they got a lot out of the season.

"We have a few young ones in the rep side, eight blokes out of the 13 is under 20," he said.

"It's not just for us, hopefully you'd like to see them move on and play more rep cricket.

"It's about giving them a pathway really, all the other towns have older sides so this is good experience for them."

This year the Western Zone Premier League side will be sponsored by Cowra Carpet cleaning, J&S Express, Telescope Tyres & Batteries, Cowra Motor Inn and major sponsor Cowra Bowling & Recreation Club.

Wilson said it was fantastic to see strong local support for the side.

"There is a few new sponsors there with Cowra Carpet Cleaning and J&S Express, along with the others," he said.

"Which is good to see considering we weren't really sure what was going to happen and how much cricket was going to be played.

"They didn't hesitate at all, which is good, hopefully we can get them enough coverage this year."

With Cowra taking on Bathurst in their opening round match at Holmwood Oval, Curtale said the side had their plans in place.

"I think they beat us by a wicket two seasons ago and we were well in the game last season it just slipped away late," he said.

"We've been beaten by pretty much everyone but we don't go into any game with fear or worry about who we are going to play.

"We'll come up with our plans for each team."