SHOULD Western Zone win the NSW Country Cricket Championship this weekend they will have done it at home.
Orange’s Wade Park will host the final this Sunday between Western and Central Coast.
It is the first time in living memory Orange has played host to the championship final.
“It’s terrific for us that it’s in our own zone,” Western Zone team manager David Redden said.
“It’s the best deck in the zone. It’s just so exciting to have the NSW Country final in our own place.”
Redden said there were two people in particular who couldn’t wait for Sunday’s final.
“Trent [Colley] and Liam [Gough] are very excited as well,” Redden said of the Orange players who are part of the Western team.
“It’s their home ground. Trent has spent the better part of 15 or 16 years playing cricket there.”
Western earned a place in the final after finishing on top in Southern pool matches just over a week ago.
Last weekend, in a rain-affected competition, Central Coast were the best in the Northern pool event. However, they didn’t have it all their own way.
Central Coast and Newcastle finished the weekend equal on points but Central Coast went through to the final because they had a better quotient by 0.23 for the weekend.
Redden said it was no surprise to him Wade Park was chosen to host the final.
“It’s always been a great pitch. Bruce [Cousins] has always prepared good pitches,” Redden said.
“But now that the outfield is back in good nick and the dog track’s gone, it’s a fine cricket oval and it’s got excellent facilities. There could be people coming from all round. Wade Park can accommodate them.”
The Western Zone players are familiar with Wade Park and played there this season when Mitchell, Lachlan and Macquarie squared off.
Redden is confident Western will have a home ground advantage.
“Someone’s got to travel,” he said.
“We know the pitch. Wade Park has got its own intricacies. It’s an unusual shaped ground in that it’s long straight and short square. We know how to set our fields there. You can’t bowl short at Wade Park because you get crucified. There’s a definite home ground advantage.”
Redden is making a special request to those who intend to watch Sunday’s 50-over game.
“We’re hopeful of having a little home-ground feel at Wade Park,” he said.
“It would be great if everybody who turns up who is a cricket person wears some sort of cricket gear from their own club, own council, so we get that home feel.”
Sunday’s NSW Country Championship final will be played at Wade Park from 9.30am.
Entry will be free.