Elders Cup: Who will emerge victorious?

Dean Crane rips the Kookaburra down the pitch during Wyangle’s 2019/20 Elders Cup grand final victory over Coolac at The Bull Paddock.

With the Elders Cup competition hitting off this weekend, the Tumut and Adelong Times have taken a look at each side’s chances, whilst highlighting key signings and touching on players to watch throughout the 2020/21 competition.

Coolac 

2019/20 finish: Runners up

Predicted finish: Premiers

Captain: Tim Graham 

Summary: Coolac lost their first grand final in eight years last season and the strong and experienced playing group will be tough to beat once again. 

There are no major losses, while Caleb Piper joins the squad that is peppered with classy players such as Tim and Luke Graham, James Scott, Mark Sharman and Duane Shawcross.

Player to watch: Reigning Elders cup cricketer of the year James Scott scored 401 runs and took 17 wickets in 12 matches last season and shapes as Coolac’s lynchpin once again. 

Player on the rise: Skipper Tim Graham said he was looking forward to seeing two of his juniors playing well this year. 

“Tom Sharman is a year older and is bigger and stronger and Caleb Piper joins us and is a player on the improve,” Graham said. 

Wyangle 

2019/20 finish: Premiers

Predicted finish: Runners up

Captain: Matt Stubbs 

Summary: Wyangle will be thereabouts again, but with the loss of Tom Shedden and the reduced input of Dave Shedden, questions will be raised over their batting depth and consistency. 

In saying that, Will and James Goode are great acquisitions, while Dylan Piper-Bye returns from a knee injury. 

Player to watch: Dean Crane is the fastest bowler and most dangerous player in the competition. He is blessed with the ability to break a game wide open on either side of the ball. 

Player on the rise: Skipper Matt Stubbs is looking forward to seeing Dylan Piper-Bye back on the field, after a football injury and subsequent ACL surgery cost him any chance of winning a premiership with Wyangle last season.

“The young bloke I’m most excited for is Dylan Piper-Bye – he was starting to play some good cricket before his knee injury cost him last season, but he has always been keen and around the club, particularly training and watching on leading up to last year’s premiership win,” Stubbs said. 

“He can bat, bowl and wicket keep and I know he is keen to get back into it.”

Adelong Donkeys

2019/20 finish: 6th

Predicted finish: 3rd

Captain: Tyron Gorman 

Summary: Adelong stalwarts Joe Hardwick and Mark Johns have called it a day, but the club calls upon some promising cricketers, accompanied by new recruits Luke Berkrey and Jake Elphick.

Although disappointing at times last season, the Donkeys should be one of the teams to beat in this year’s Elders Cup. 

Player to watch: Jake Elphick is a huge pick up for the Donkeys, and will likely open the bowling with Jordy Maher or Jake Hardwick, in what will arguably be the competitions most dangerous attack. 

Player on the rise: Donkeys captain Tyron Gorman said a more experienced Jordy Maher would be the player to watch. 

“Maybe Jordy Maher, he’s had a couple of seasons in senior cricket now (and) I think he’s in for a big year with the ball,” Gorman said. 

Golfie Lippers

2019/20 finish: 5th

Predicted finish: 4th

Captain: Jacob Dow

Summary: Enigmatic is the best way to describe the newly re-named Golfie Lippers, who on their day can beat anyone in the competition. 

Jacob Dow takes the reigns this season, with Greg Crampton just focusing on playing, while a somewhat young playing group has another year under their belt after just missing finals in 2019/20. 

Player to watch: Greg Crampton is the heart and soul of the Golfie, and provides plenty with the bat and ball and if he plays well, the Lippers generally play well. 

Players on the rise: New Lippers skipper Jacob Dow named a few players he expected to step up this season. 

“Keigan King with the bat; I really rate him and Lewie and Mal Aiken with the ball; they were bowling really well at the back end of last season (and) are only going to get quicker as they mature,” Dow said. 

Tumut Plains 

2019/20 finish: 3rd

Predicted finish: 5th

Captain: Stephen Gill 

Summary: Tumut Plains won’t have Glenn Appleby or Matt Sturt to call upon this season, but the addition of Mike Hargreaves from Wagga helps fill the void. 

Stephen Gill will be tasked with leading the team but does have the experienced trio of Lue Armstrong, Daniel Thomas and Kevin Keogh to help him out at times. 

Player to watch: Stephen Gill, who is the competitions prettiest batsman, will need to have a season to remember if Plains want to push for a top four spot. 

Player on the rise: Myles Henman was very good in 2019/20 and with another year under his belt, and more responsibility in a new-look Plains line up, the youngster could be in for a few wickets. 

Lotts

2019/20 finish: 4th

Predicted finish: 6th

Captain: Dan Attwood 

Summary: Lotts will have to deal with the losses of Mick and Joe Butler and Alex, Shaun and John Smith, while youngster Will Murphy is the only new face in the team. 

The club does have some talented young cricketers though and will push the top sides if they can play consistently from the beginning of the season. 

Player to watch: Jacob Ferguson is a classy opening bowler and will be better for another year of growth and experience. 

Players on the rise: Lotts captain Dan Attwood said he had four juniors ready to make a big impact for the club. 

“Both of the Ferguson boys (Jacob and Thomas) with the ball and Andrew Smith with the bat will be big improvers, and Will Murphy is a new face that joins the team and I expect he will go well too,” Attwood said. 

Commercial Colts

2019/20 finish: Wooden spoon

Predicted finish: 7th

Captain: Aidan Thomas

Summary: It was no secret the Colts struggled last season, losing all of their games, but the additions of Glenn Appleby and Tristen Beaumont and the return of Simon Smith will only help last season’s cellar dwellers towards their first win as a club. 

If the club can bring those three players together, with the likes of Nathan Watson and Jacob Thomas, Commercial could notch a few wins this season. 

Player to watch: Simon Smith is up there as one of the best players in the competition throughout the past 10 years, but missed most of last season with work committments. 

If he returns in a full-time capacity, the fast-scoring opener will help his club’s causes.

Player on the rise: Young skipper Aidan Thomas is excited by the growth and development of second year player, Elyah Dean. 

“Elyah Dean would be the player to watch; last year was his first year of seniors, and ever since we’ve been back, he’s opened up a bit more, bowling a lot better and hitting them a lot better in the nets,” Thomas said. 

Family

2019/20 finish: 7th

Predicted finish: Wooden spoon

Captain: Caleb Lindley-Kell 

Summary: Family have lost Jake Elphick and Andrew Cooper, and after struggling last year, the club will need some help to avoid the wooden spoon. 

Dane O’Hehir is potentially back, but he has yet to confirm if he will team up with Family, with rumblings he could also join Elphick and Berkrey in Adelong.

The club will need some old heads to offer a helping hand to what is a very young team. 

Player to watch: Caleb Lindley-Kell is a talented all-rounder who will have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders this year, with plenty of runs and wickets needed by the club captain. 

Players on the rise: Lindley-Kell said he had two youngsters ready to lead by example.

“Batting wise, Max Peterson started to get runs and starts last year; I think this year, he could be a real thorn in team’s sides, and with the bowling, once again Clayton Smith will be a lot better this year,” Lindley-Kell said.