Action Indoor Sports Morphett Vale will host two live-streamed South Australian finals matches this weekend as the Beastwear National Indoor Cricket League season reaches fever pitch.
The first live streamed match will be the women’s preliminary final, with participating teams to be finalised after the last minor round game which will take place Friday 27 July. Three teams are still in the running to make the Grand Final with the winner of the Thunder v Devils game to move straight through to the Grand Final whilst the loser of that match will have to face the winner of the United v Steelers game.
Adelaide Strikers player Tegan McPharlin is expected to lead her Thunder team to victory over the undermanned Devils side with former Australian players Stacey Oates and Febi Mansell sure to dominate. State players Cara Allen (U21), Alecia Holt (U21) and Emily Hinze (U17) strengthen what is already a dominant team while outdoor cricket young guns Katie Rowe and Sophie Roberts are sure to excite viewers.
The Devils are without two of their most important players with captain and Australian player Neisha Iles missing due to injury as well as state player Brittany Perry who will be playing SANFL football. State players Kiara Stockley (opens), Rachel Dickinson (U21), Taylah Lewis (U17), Emma Hartigan (U17) and Isobella Nitschke (U14) will have their work cut out for them, up against what on paper is a stronger and more experienced indoor cricket team.
The Steelers lead by Australian open player, Kylie Rattray, boast a strong line up with Australian reps Ainslee Knight (U21) Tarlee Meaney (U21) and Taylah Gregory (U21 & U17) while 4 of the 8 players are recent premiership players from the 21 & Under ladies’ nationals, captain Chloe Frick and players Chloe Lyons, Tarlee Meaney and Taylah Gregory all in fine form. To round out the side, state players Rebecca Pollard (opens) and Amy Peterson (U17) leave the Steelers well placed to have a convincing win over the undermanned United side and move into the Preliminary Final.
Following the women’s preliminary final is the men’s NICL Final with Stepney Saints to face Pink Panthers in a scintillating battle for ultimate glory. The Saints knocked off the Morphett Vale Sharks to progress to their first final since 2009 after having made the last four preliminary finals. Stepney possess an experienced line-up consisting of four state open’s players and will need to draw on all that knowledge to defeat a dominant Panthers outfit. Grant Doran will surely be the x-factor with captain Josh Heenan and young gun Ollie Styles – National U/15 Player of the Series – to also play pivotal roles in the outcome of the match.
The Panthers come into this game as red hot favourites after enjoying a dominant first season in the NICL competition and claiming two wins against the Saints already this season. Led by national U/21 Player of the Series Cameron Bullard, the Panthers boast a smorgasbord of young talent including U/21 Australian players Zach Schwarz and Dion Lucas as well as a host of U/21 State players including Josh Lamerton, Jordan Martin, and Daniel Bullard.
This final will surely come down to who can handle the pressure of the Final best, but expect to see talent rise to the top and the Panthers to take home all the glory.
Visit www.nicl.com.au for all fixtures and more information, and follow Cricket Australia Indoor on Facebook to catch this week’s live-streamed matches.
Saturday 28 August live-stream schedule
5:30pm ACST Stepney Devils v Stepney Steelers
7:30pm ACST Pink Panthers v Stepney Saints