WA Positive Despite Missing Imparja Final
23 February 2013  

Western Australia have missed out on a spot in the 2013 Imparja Cup final but coach Matt Abrahamson says there were plenty of positives to take from the carnival for his side.

WA needed to beat reigning champions New South Wales on Friday, or hope Queensland failed to beat Northern Territory to book a spot in the decider in Alice Springs.

However, the West Australians were humbled by NSW, going down by 69 runs at Albrecht Oval, while Queensland defeated NT by four wickets at Larapinta Oval.

The previously undefeated NSW, who have won the past five Imparja Cup titles, had already booked their spot in the final but made a solid 3-154 after WA captain Michael Bailey sent them in to bat.

Damien Duroux top scored with 50 for NSW as they reached a decent score despite Hayden Collard's good bowling, claiming 2-20.

In reply, WA lost early wickets, with Bailey gone for 21, and never recovered, eventually all out for 85 in the 17th over.

"We were outclassed by a better team. We had our chances but the game showed the depth of the NSW squad compared to ours," Abrahamson said.

"They didn't have the foot on the accelerator as they'd already qualified for the final. They left the door ajar with 150 on the board, but we lost a couple of early wickets and were never in the hunt."

Despite the failure to reach the final, Abrahamson drew on the positives from the carnival, after several players earned individual honours at Friday's Gala night.

WA trio Bailey, Willy Nona and Hayden Collard were named in the Black Caps Honour Squad for the best 12 players of the Imparja Cup, while Bailey, Alistair Bivens and Collard made the U-23 Indigenous Squad which will spend time at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

"We had a couple of good young players come through, such as Hugh Sando. Bailey was dominant throughout the week and Bivens contributed. Hayden Collard was serviceable with the ball and Nona was one of our standouts."

Abrahamson reflected on missed opportunities and dropped catches in Thursday's loss to Queensland as a reason for their failure to reach the final.

He added: "Finishing third is a fair result. We were the best of the rest. When you weigh it up, it's where you'd expect us to end up."