What cricket looks like in a pandemic as champs get to work

 

REIGNING Kookaburra Cup Twenty20 premiers Mudgeeraba Nerang has wasted no time staking their claim on back to back titles after claiming two impressive wins on day one competition on Saturday.

While cricket looks different in 2020, with play stopped every 40 minutes to allow players to sanitise their hands and officials to sanitise the ball and stumps, Bushmen captain Dylan McLaughlin said it was "exciting" to get back on the field after the 2019/20 summer was cut short.

At Golden Wheel Park, Mudgeeraba Nerang easily accounted for Burleigh in the morning before backing up with a win against Southport Labrador.

Mudgeeraba's bowling attack was in full display early, dismissing Burleigh for 86 runs before opening pair Howard Biddle and Dayne Siede steered their side to victory with the bat.

McLaughlin said the Bushmen would have to focus on strengthening their middle order, after losing a flurry of wickets against Southport Labrador but a tally of 125 runs turned out to be enough to see the contest out.

"We got a good result against Burleigh and I think we improved what we did in the morning against Southport Labrador but it took us a little bit to get going," McLaughlin, who skippered the Bushmen to second place last season, said.

"Against Southport, I think we could have put up a better score with the start we had but we still got 125 which proved enough.

"Everyone was pretty keen to get back into it because we haven't been able to do too much in the off-season so it was exciting to get back onto the field, even if we had to do a few different things with sanitising."

 

Zac Gayfer runs between wickets with Dayne Seide during Round 5 of the 2019/20 Kookaburra Cup Cricket Gold Coast first grade competition. Photograph : Jason O'Brien
Zac Gayfer runs between wickets with Dayne Seide during Round 5 of the 2019/20 Kookaburra Cup Cricket Gold Coast first grade competition. Photograph : Jason O'Brien

With the bulk of last summer's squad returning for another title tilt, McLaughlin said the Bushmen would look to walk a similar path and aim for Twenty20 silverware before launching a Kookaburra Cup assault.

"We'd love to go back to back but it's a pretty tough competition and you can lose one game and it's all over," he said.

"Like most, we've lost a few and picked up a few but the squad is looking much the same and we've got a bit more hitting power which will be great for this competition."

In other results, Broadbeach Robina defeated Queens, Surfers Paradise beat first-grade newcomers Colts, Runaway Bay enjoyed a win over Burleigh, Helensvale Pacific Pines got over the top of Alberton Ormeau and Palm Beach Currumbin downed Coomera Hope Island.

EARLIER: Our latest first grade side

SOUTH Tweed Colts Cricket Club is set to finally make their first-grade return more than a decade after their club almost fell apart.

The Colts haven't featured at the first-grade level since 2006 when a handful of financial issues forced the club into a spiral they only recovered from three years later when a group of parents, including current day president Peter Mitchell, banded together to relaunch the club.

What started as a four-team junior club competing in the Tweed Heads competition has expanded in years since.

In 2012, the club was invited to enter the Gold Coast Cricket Association and went on to win the Under-17 title in the same season.

The South Tweed Colts Cricket Club celebrate their second grade Cricket Gold Coast premiership earlier this year. They have been promoted to first grade. Pic: Supplied.
The South Tweed Colts Cricket Club celebrate their second grade Cricket Gold Coast premiership earlier this year. They have been promoted to first grade. Pic: Supplied.

The plan was always to craft a pathway for junior cricketers to represent their club at a senior level so in 2015, Tweed fielded a third-grade senior side which was joined by a second-grade side in 2017.

The culmination of the Colts' work came earlier this year when they finished the season as minor premiers and were eventually crowned outright premiers when the season was suspended to limit the spread of COVID-19.

And now, Tweed is ready to make its mark.

"We finished strongly in second grade but we wanted to challenge ourselves," said player-coach Gary Boyd.

"Not to say that we would've won again, but we didn't want to sit in second grade, we wanted to push ourselves and we know it's going to be tougher than last year but we're up for the challenge.

"Over half of our team are first graders anyway and there's also some boys who are going to benefit and improve from being exposed to this level so we're aiming to finish in the middle four."

Boyd, a former first-grade cricketer for Pottsville, will be joined in the side by his son Mitchell as his attempts to steer his side to sustained success.

Mitchell, who has been involved in the club for more than a decade, said Tweed's promotion was a testament to their junior pathway.

"The first-grade side is made up of around 75 per cent of Tweed juniors which is great for our pathway," he said.

"Some of them have been here for 10 years."

Weather permitting, Tweed are expected to kick off their Kookaburra Cup 2020 campaign on Saturday morning against Surfers Paradise at Sam Loxton oval.

Colts T20 starting side

- 1 Adam Rogers (wk)

- 2 Mitchell Boyd

- 3 Joel Thompson (c)

- 4 Sam Powell

- 5 Tom Byrnes

- 6 Ben Thoms

- 7 Grant Jonson

- 8 Dylan Sloane

- 9 Gary Boyd

- 10 Nathan Baker

- 11 Sam Byrnes

- 12 Lewis Koppell



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