Albion captain Andy Mack has conceded that Court House are a stronger side, saying Albion would be “kidding themselves” if they thought their minor premiership triumph meant they were the superior outfit.
The two sides meet in a crucial two-day clash at Kitchener Park on Saturday.
“We did well to get their [the minor premiership) but we probably haven’t been tested by the best side in the competition,” Mack said.
Mack based his belief that Court House were the stronger side – on paper at least – on the overall strength of the reigning premier’s line-up and not their defeat of Albion in what was essentially the one-day final on February 3.
He said a key to Albion reversing the one-day loss was for their batsmen to “play the ball and not the bowler”.
In a big blow to Albion, Mack and his brother, James, will be unavailable for day one of the match due to a family bereavement. Brad Jenkinson will captain the side in Mack’s absence.
Mack said: “They’re [Court House] probably a better side on paper … We need to focus on the ball itself and not necessarily who’s bowling the ball, whether its Farran Lamb or Ben Irwin or whoever.”
Mack does not regard the clash as a chance for Albion – whose bid for three straight premierships was snapped by Court House in last season’s grand final – to redeem themselves for the one-day loss.
The reason for that is he believes that Albion excels best in the two-day game and, as such, a one-day match was not the best barometre of form for the longer version of the game, which applies to the remainder of the season.
He added: “I haven’t said too much to the guys [ahead of this weekend]. We nipped that game [the one-day defeat] in the bud and moved on to this game.”
Mack “does not want to look too far ahead” but he – along with most people – believes that the game is a precursor to the grand final, given Albion and Court House’s total dominance over Kookaburras and Mornington.
“This games gives a good insight into how we may perform [in the grand final],” he said.
Court House has also been hit by player losses, with five players set to miss at least the first day of the match. They are Ben Irwin, Ben Haire, Lachlan King, Anthony Daniels and Jay Urquhart.
Court House veteran Brad Gander expects Haire, Urquhart and Daniels to be available for day two next Saturday.
Gander said regardless of who was playing for Court House, the side was intent on keeping their winning run going.
He said: “We’ll be 100 per cent turning up to try and get the win, take momentum into the semis.”
In the other clash this round, Kookaburras and Mornington meet at Wolseley Park.
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