Goolma will be given one chance to silence its critics and finally add a Gulgong District Cricket Association championship to its trophy cabinet this Sunday.
After a fiery season that was made hotter by Jason Warner and Ashley Honeysett, Goolma will square off against Gulgong RSL after Jared Clulow’s men made easy work of Centennial in the preliminary final.
Clulow told The Mudgee Guardian his side’s bowling is never a disappointment and that rang true at Gulgong’s Victoria Park on March 11.
That bowling will need to go up a notch against Goolma as Jason Warner will be bursting at the seams to take the crease after putting up 136 last-start against Centennial.
Gulgong RSL captain has dubbed his side as ‘underdogs’ for Sunday’s clash but thinks an array of elements makes it very even.
One of those being the size of Gulgong’s Victoria Park, which could stifle Goolma’s attack which is normally dynamic at its home field.
“It’s a lot quicker at Goolma,” Clulow said.
“300 at Goolma is probably about 170 at Vic Park Gulgong, to put it in perspective.
“You wouldn’t lose many games at Vic Park if you got over 150.”
It’s been a case of close but no cigar for a handful of Goolma players as they’ve often made it to the big show but haven’t been able to claim title honours.
“Things like that give us more confidence but the stats show Goolma has the top couple of blokes in the competition so they’ve gotta be respected,” Clulow said.
RSL’s triumph over Centennial was close to flawless and that’s exactly how Clulow’s men will need to play again if they want to score their third title in four years.
“These guys will probably be relying on a few blokes to score heavily,” he said.
“We dropped a few catches on the weekend that didn’t cost us but if we drop a few against the batsmen they’ve got it might be enough for them to get a big score.
“We just need to make sure we take our chances.”
Losing a grand final isn’t the end of the world but Clulow admits that a few of his team mates might not get another chance after March 18.
“We’ve got a few guys that are giving the game away after this season so they’ll be very keen to do well,” he said.
“There’s only five teams in the comp. I’ve played a lot of cricket in a lot of places and this is very competitive.”
Sunday’s showdown commences from Victoria Park at 10am.