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Skipper backs powerful side

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
Bunbury’s Reece O’Connell is confident his team can get the win in the Country Cup final this weekend against the Invitational XI.
Camera IconBunbury’s Reece O’Connell is confident his team can get the win in the Country Cup final this weekend against the Invitational XI. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

The Bunbury and Districts Cricket Association will name one of the best teams in its history for this weekend’s Country Cup final, according to captain Reece O’Connell.

After three tough rounds of competition, the BDCA will take on the WA Invitational XI at the WACA this Sunday.

O’Connell will lead a strong outfit for the undefeated BDCA, which is set to welcome the return of former Test batsman Murray Goodwin and Dalyellup Beach all-rounder Rodney Shemeld, after they missed the rain-affected match against Albany earlier this month.

The side will be without Murray’s son Jayden, who scored 72 against the WA Invitational XI last met, when the BDCA claimed an 104-run win.

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But O’Connell is confident his side will not be daunted by the task of playing at the WACA and believes it is a fantastic chance for some of the younger players to compete at the home of WA cricket.

“For the Invitational XI and for us, there will be a lot of guys who will get their first chance to play on the WACA,” he said.

“For the guys to be able to play with and against the likes of Murray (Goodwin) and on the WACA, is a great opportunity.

“We have a mature side which does help us. We have a lot of guys who have been around the cricket circles for a long time.”

O’Connell said the opposition would be tough to take on, with Jay Collard, Bevan Bennell, captain Tim Hutchison and country cricket legend Rodney Ford set to feature.

“We are going to have to bowl well to Jay and Bev,” he said.

“Rocket (Ford) has been around for a long time. We are going to have to bowl tight lines and lengths to him and not give him too many short balls, because he feeds off them.”

The BDCA will feature several all-rounders, including O’Connell, who will play a vital part with the ball and the bat.

WA Country and Invitational XI coach Tim Edmunds said it was a privilege for his team to play on the WACA.

“We have had a simple game plan throughout and that is to take the game on and show what they can do,” he said.

Edmunds said his team would have a good mix of experience and youth.

“I think the side who has some agility and has the best of it in the field will go along way to winning the game,” he said.

“Albany put them under significant pressure in the field, so we will look to do the same.”

Edmunds said despite using about 20 players across the three preliminary games, they had gelled well.

“It has been a challenge to get everyone together and get them to play to their strengths and take the game on,” he said.

The game starts at 11am.

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