No sledging in GDCA grand final, players told

Cricket

PLAYERS from the Yenda Jets and Exies have been told to tone down the sledging tomorrow as tensions simmer ahead of what is expected to be an enthralling GDCA first-grade grand final at Exies Oval.

The two clubs have been warned by association officials not to repeat the antics of their heated major semi-final two weeks ago, which saw numerous verbal barbs exchanged on the field - prompting complaints from spectators over the language used.

But while the banter might be tamer tomorrow, the rivalry will be as fierce as ever between Griffith cricket's two best sides as they fight it out for local bragging rights.

"There is a bit of feeling there," Jets captain Shaun Stubbs admitted.

"There was a lot of sledging going on in that last game.

"It might be a bit quieter this week but the feeling will be the same."

His counterpart, Exies skipper Marc Tucker, said his side will not get sucked into mind games this week - be they in the build-up to the grand final, or in the thick of the action.

"We'll just stick to playing cricket," he said.

"That was going to be our gameplan anyway - not to listen to that stuff.

"If we play our cricket we'll win, simple as that."

Both clubs will take unchanged, full-strength squads into the two-day encounter, which will conclude one of the most even local competitions in years.

The Jets finished second on the table but flattered to deceive for long stretches of the season, finally ditching their inconsistent ways and coming good at the business end of the campaign.

Stubbs' men took in the second day of Exies' preliminary final win over Leagues Club, which saw Jamie Winkler star with a 50 and an unbeaten 43.

"I thought they batted a lot better than what they did in our game," he said.

"When I was there, they dropped a few catches. They were bowling alright - not great lines, but alright."

Yenda packed in extra fielding practice into their week off after the 31-run outright major semi-final win, eager to ensure they don't hand Exies batsmen any second lives.

"We've been working on it really hard," Stubbs said.

"You don't want to give anyone a chance in a grand final because it'll hurt you.

"Exies can punish you if you do - the Winkler boys are pretty good at it, they usually go on to get 50 or 60 when they're dropped."

For Exies, the key is piecing together the two parts of their game - batting and bowling.

The latter has rarely been an issue, thanks to a career-best season from spearhead Chris Mansell - but the former has been the minor premier's Achilles heel at times, despite a powerful line-up that bats all the way down.

"I think our top six or seven, if we can all get off to starts then we'll be right," Tucker said.

"Our bowling's been good all year so we can always expect it to be.

"We know we didn't play to the best of our ability last time - if our batsmen fire we'll be well on the way."

Stubbs, meanwhile, has backed his unheralded pace battery to stop Exies from doing just that, praising the likes of pace trio Dean Cunial, Jesse-Wade Ryan and Brett Hazelman - three of Yenda's best this season.

"They're not underrated - not by us," he said.

"Maybe every other team doesn't rate them.

"It's going to be good to have another crack at them. We're pretty geed up."

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