Western to play Central Coast in Championships final

Western Zone is riding the momentum of back-to-back victories ahead of this Sunday’s Country Championship final against Central Coast at Ourimbah.

Zone all-rounder and former Dubbo representative Tim Berry, now playing at Cowra, labelled consistency as the key, with Saturday’s and Sunday’s Southern Pool triumphs against Riverina and Illawarra giving him confidence.

ALL-ROUND THREAT: Former Dubbo player Tim Berry continues to be a key figure for Western Zone at the Country Championships. Photo: MEG FRENCH

ALL-ROUND THREAT: Former Dubbo player Tim Berry continues to be a key figure for Western Zone at the Country Championships. Photo: MEG FRENCH

“It’s all about consistency. I think we’ll go a long way to winning,” Berry said.

“We have 12 players working together all with a role to play and that seems to be working for us at the moment.”

Berry praised the side’s resilience at last weekend’s three-day carnival at Shellharbour, producing two dominant performances on day’s two and three.

Western were able to recover and win the Southern Country Championship, despite an opening round hiccup against Southern/ACT, eventually qualifying for the decider after a countback thanks to a superior quotient.

Berry, who captained the South Dubbo side which was defeated by Macquarie in last season’s Whitney Cup decider, said the Western squad never doubted itself.

“I think it was more disappointment. A few things didn’t go our way and we made a few silly mistakes that they were able to capitalise on and that was the difference between winning and losing [day one],” he said.

“We didn’t think we were out of it, that was just the end result of that match. 

“The next two days we showed our potential.”

Sunday’s final is Western Zone’s third appearance in the Country Championship final in five years.

Berry tributes the Zone’s achievements to the work that’s being done off the field, with the likes of coach Matt Crawley involved with the squad for a number of years.

“I think a lot of it’s coming from the committee and the council’s getting the best players available.

“Success builds more success and players want to be a part of that.

“There as been changes and differences in the past few years but we’ve been able to select players of similar ability or even better.”

Berry said he doesn’t know what to expect from Central Coast.

The Northern Country Championship was severely interrupted by wet weather but Central Coast scored wins in the opening two rounds to progress to the final.

“It’s hard to get a gauge of their performances. Their carnival was disrupted by rain. 

“From what Nick [Berry] said they’ll have some handy bowlers and strong batters but we’ve run into sides like that before,” Berry said.

Western Zone plays Central Coast at Bill Sohier Park, Ourimbah this Sunday from 10am.

WESTERN ZONE: Nick Berry ©, Jordan Moran, Will Lindsay, Jacob McNaught, Matt Stephen, Mitch Bower, Greg Buckley, Marty Jeffrey, Josh Toole, Ryan Peacock, Jacob Harvey, Tim Berry.

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