Wyangle after ‘second bite of the cherry’

Wyangle were without Mark Bradshaw and John Breed on Saturday but managed a four-wicket victory over Adelong.

With Wyangle only one win behind the top-placed Coolac, and boasting a record of six wins and one loss after 10 rounds of the Elders Cup competition, it is scary to think they haven’t yet fielded a full-strength team. 

Work commitments, holidaying and varying availabilities have meant skipper, Matt Stubbs, has been forced to test the club’s depth, and more often than not, they have still managed to win. 

“I think the hardest thing this year has been consistently getting a side,” Stubbs laughed. 

“It is good that we are in the fortunate position we are in; we have a deep roster and have been able to cover absences.”

Their depth was on show on Saturday, as they rounded out a strong four-wicket victory over fellow Elders Cup heavyweights, Adelong. 

“This soon after Christmas we were missing Dean Crane, John Breed, Jimmy Goode and Mark Bradshaw, but we still managed a win,” Stubbs said.

It was the efforts of James Webb and Ray Tollemache that helped Wyangle to a win, with the pair combining to take all 10 wickets. Webb finished with 4/8 and Tollemache taking 6/22.

“Once we got Taito (Tate O’Donovan) out, we had them,” Stubbs said. 

“Jimmy Webb and Ray Tollemache bowled well. Jimmy actually bowled exceptionally well, he got their top three and Ray was able to finish it off.”

Stubbs said the win was anything but easy, with the Adelong bowling line-up testing Wyangle’s top order. 

“It looks like an easy win on paper, but losing six, we still made it pretty hard for ourselves,” Stubbs said. 

“I was surprised by their attack I guess, they bowled a consistent line and tested us.”

Wyangle now enter the final four rounds of the competition in a relatively comfortable second position, and Stubbs said they were focused on finishing second and earning a second chance come finals. 

“We want to finish as high up the ladder as we can,” Stubbs said. 

“One and two get the second bite of the cherry, and we would prefer to be top and we will try to keep winning.”

Wyangle take on Lotts this week, but it is their match against Coolac in three rounds’ time that will likely determine who finishes minor premiers. 

“The likes of Coolac have the line-up to win it, they have a good batting line-up and they bowl well, but we just need to focus on winning,” Stubbs said. 

“We will get everyone back after Christmas and hopefully have a near full-strength team.”

Before their season-defining game against Coolac, the Tumut side will have a tricky away match at Owen Vincent Oval, against an unlucky Lotts side that are out of finals contention.

“We need to focus on this game, it’s the same every week,” Stubbs said. 

“Teams always seem to perform against us and turn up, and I have no doubt that will be the case when we visit Gundagai to play Lotts on Saturday.”