GUNNEDAH will be out to right perceived wrongs whilst Armidale will be looking to prove it belongs in the final when the two sides clash in the final round of the War Veterans Cup in Gunnedah tomorrow.
The game was shaping up to be a semi-final of sorts until Tamworth forfeited to Armidale two weeks ago and effectively handed it a final berth.
Gunnedah has put a formal complaint into the Northern Inland Cricket Council about the forfeit.
Gunnedah player Sam Doubleday said he was more than disappointed when he heard Tamworth had not fielded a side.
“It shouldn’t happen with a place like Tamworth,” Doubleday said.
“They have four grades and six clubs.
“Some weekends I am up until 3am chasing players the day of the game but we always field a side.”
Armidale captain Andrew Brownlie was also disappointed and hinted that Tamworth may have become complacent in the competition where it is undefeated.
“I find it hard to believe that Tamworth could not field a side,” Brownlie said.
“I can see why Gunnedah are disappointed.
“They struggle to field sides for most of the season and so do we, even in grade cricket.”
Tamworth selector Adam Jones thinks the criticism has been unfairly levelled at them.
“We asked Armidale to postpone and they said no and took the points,” Jones said.
“And Gunnedah and Narrabri forfeited a game earlier in the year for the harvest.”
Gunnedah has named close to a full-strength side for tomorrow and is keen to notch up another win for the season.
“We would love to beat Armidale at home and prove we could have a spot in the final and belong there,” Doubleday said.
Gunnedah will also be keen to get a win to farewell stalwart Darrin Cameron, who is hanging up the representative bat after over 15 years in the side.
“It is a sad day for me but I am leaving to spend more time with my three boys,” Cameron said.
Doubleday may be on the sideline this week himself after busting a finger keeping in the local T20 comp.
“We have named a side but are going to see how we are looking on Sunday,” Doubleday said.
“We might give some of the younger blokes a go.”
Despite the disappointment of missing the final, Gunnedah wants to finish the season on a positive.
“We will do our best so we can hold our heads high and say we did everything we could this season,” Doubleday said.
Whilst it is just another game of cricket now, it actually means a lot to both sides and should be a good match.
Armidale has named its strongest line-up for the year and hopes to prove that it belongs in the February 16 final against Tamworth.
“If we get towelled up by Gunnedah on Sunday it would add fuel to the fire,” Brownlie said.
“Our team is very well balanced and strong this week.
“We deserve to be in the final but it was not the way we wanted to do it.”
ARMIDALE: Andrew Brownlie (c), Dean Moore, Ben Welch, Michael Dawson, Matt Schaeffer, Brad Smith, Paul Woodford, Lachlan Elks, Steve Butler, Karl Triebe, Sam Uphill, Henry Cuppit.
GUNNEDAH: James Mack (c), Farran Lamb, Brad Gander, Sam Doubleday, Blake Small, Ben Middlebrook, Troy Sands, Ben Haire, Al DeNysschen, Darrin Cameron, Vinny Winsor, Bon Winsor.