Rockingham-Mandurah defeated Fremantle in a high scoring match in the first Preliminary Final, while Claremont-Nedlands cruised to victory over Melville to make their second successive Grand Final appearance.
Interestingly, these two sides have not met this year, as their Round 4 clash was abandoned due to an unusually rainy October Saturday.
There are so many battles within this match, all of which will contribute to the outcome; Craig Simmons (leading wicket taker) up against Bradley Hope and Nicholas Hobson (first and second leading run scorers), James Bracey verses Chris Simpson, plus handy all-rounders in Dane Ugle and Haydan Morton going head to head.
The Tigers have had the firepower to combat almost anything that has come at them all season, while the Mariners have enjoyed tremendous success with their defensive approach to their bowling, headlined by Simmons’ career best season with the ball.
The game will most likely be decided by the team who makes the most of their half chances and stays strong throughout the big moments.
The Tigers have the experience of playing in multiple Grand Finals over the past four years, but the Mariners youthful exuberance and excitement could be enough to get them through the nerves on adrenaline alone.
Whichever way the match goes, we should be in for an absolute thriller at the WACA Ground.
Umpires: Nathan Johnstone & Todd Rann – Reserve: Daniel Skinn
Rockingham-Mandurah: Craig Simmons(c), Dane Ugle, Kane Standing, Tyler Robertson, Aaron Burrage, Damien Burrage, Vincent Poller, Leon Coombs, Brandon Burt, Samuel Day, Brandon Jacobs, Adam France, Ronan Hogarth.
Claremont-Nedlands: Nicholas Hobson(c), Jacob Whiteaker, James Allenby, Jackson Edmondstone, Bradley Hope, Tim David, Daniel Turkich, Joel Paris, Haydan Morton, Matthew Kelly, Christopher Simpson, Thomas May, Cameron Watson.
Milestones: Sam Day (RM) personal best score 70 runs on debut, Aaron Burrage (RM) about to pass 1000 runs, Craig Simmons (RM) took his 15th five-wicket haul, Haydan Morton (CN) 100 matches, Nicholas Hobson (CN) about to pass 5000 runs, Joel Paris (CN) about to pass 100 wickets.
History: These teams have never met in a Grand Final before. The Tigers have played in four Grand Finals for three wins, while the Mariners have played in one Grand Final for one win.