QUEANBEYAN District Cricket Club cannot get enough of Western Zone.
The ACT Grade Cricket heavyweights have five players in their first grade outfit who originate from the western area.
Former Orange City quick and reigning NSW Country Cricketer of the Year Josh Bennett, former Orange CYMS quick Josh Sands, Cowra’s Mick Curtale and Bathurst brothers Jono and Blake Dean all pull on the baggy blue each weekend.
Bennett, in his first season with the club after an off-season move from University of Newcastle, said the presence of several country boys made the transition substantially easier.
“It’s definitely been the right move for me,” he said.
“It’s great having so many country boys around the group, and it also gives us an ‘us versus them’ type mentality on the field. We’re the only NSW team in the ACT competition, and the country boys tie together within the group well.”
The Bluebaggers are leading both the one-day and two-day competitions heading into Christmas, and Bennett said the Western Zone influence was huge among the squad.
“Jono was just banging them before he left [to play with the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash],” he said.
“He knocked up 240 in one game not so long ago and Blake has really stepped up since [Jono] left. Last game he took 4-2.
“Curtale is doing well behind the stumps, despite coming back from a back injury. I’m bowling pretty well I think and Sandsy is just brilliant to have in and around the group.
“He’s the guy everyone wants in their team.”
QDCC has just qualified for the final eight of the SCG Country Cup, with a 37-run win over Eastlake.
Bennett said the Bluebaggers will likely enter the finals series with an understrength line up, but is confident of his team going deep into the competition.
“The Strikers aren’t going to let Jono come back and I think a couple of others might be away,” he said.
“But regardless, I’d expect us to do well and have a real crack at it.”