Griffith under 18s eye Creet Cup glory


THEY might not be showing it, but coach Ritchie Alvaro can sense his Griffith under 18s side is desperate to create history by claiming the Creet Cup with a win over Leeton in Sunday's final at Exies Oval.

After finishing top of the tournament's ladder, the under 18s are every chance of becoming the first age-restricted team to take out the Murrumbidgee's most prestigious representative competition.

To do so they must defeat a side they are yet to encounter this season after their scheduled match against Leeton on February 16 was washed out, a result which assured both teams a berth in the final.

It's an historic occasion for Griffith cricket, but even though his players aren't showing any outward emotion, Alvaro believes deep down, they are hellbent on seizing the day.

"They don't give away too much but I think they would be pretty excited," Alvaro said.

"They don't want to put the cart before the horse, though. 

"I think their feet are firmly on the ground."

It's that sort of mature outlook from that has been the hallmark of a breakout season for many of the youngsters on the team, who have defied their tender years to make a mark both in the GDCA competition and on the representative scene.

It's also helped stop the furore that surrounded the eligibility of Alex McMaster from becoming any form of distraction, following an ugly war of words last month between Lake Cargelligo and the Murrumbidgee Cricket Council.

"It's just water off a duck's back," Alvaro said. 

"I don't think they read too much into it and it's not something they've taken too seriously. 

"There's been a bit of talk about it but just light-hearted talk."

Alvaro has named his best possible side for the final, with McMaster and Michael McWhirter set to lead a very strong batting line-up that includes the in-form Jimmy Binks, powerful Tom Bristow and all-rounder Tom West, who will be pushed up the order.

"He deserves the opportunity," Alvaro said.

"He hasn't got much of an opportunity in the past so he will move up.

"Westy's been bowling very well too. He's been very economical and getting wickets at the same time - it's two for the price of one."

The bowling department will be led by Alex Flood, who bagged seven wickets in a blistering performance for Coro on Saturday, while all three Peruzzi brothers from Leagues Club have been named.

Alvaro admitted the team knows little about Leeton, with their only insight the Griffith senior team's big seven-wicket win earlier in the tournament.

"We don't know too much about Leeton and they don't know too much about us. We're both in the same boat," he said.

"The team that looks after their own game and does the little things the best will come out on top, I think.

"You've got to worry about your own backyard and not too much about the opposition."

PRESSURE'S ON: Fletcher Josling will lead the Griffith under 18s in their first ever Creet Cup final on Sunday against Leeton.

PRESSURE'S ON: Fletcher Josling will lead the Griffith under 18s in their first ever Creet Cup final on Sunday against Leeton.


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