Sam Doubleday says Gunnedah cricket is indebted to Sam Lumby for the job he has done extricating Mornington from the mire.
With cricket in recess for Christmas, the Court House veteran said Mornington’s resurgence had given the first-grade competition an adrenaline shot and made it more enjoyable for the players.
Doubleday said the competition was “pretty well evenly poised” following Mornington’s emergence and Kookaburras matching them by also winning two matches, including a win over reigning two-time premiers Court House.
Lumby was appointed Mornington captain this season – his first stint in charge. Doubleday said: “I’m really impressed with how far they’ve come, from the start of the year to now. And I think Sam Lumby needs to take a lot of credit for that.
“He’s sort of stepped up and taken a bit of ownership of the side. And really, I think it’s turned the competition around completely … He’s done a great job getting a quality side together for Mornington that are now winning games. So it’s really pleasing to see.”
On his Facebook page, Lumby has this intro: “Just gotta keep showing up...let the boys know ya keen.”
That is what he has done at Mornington this season – leading the side to their first win since 2016, which became back-to-back wins when they beat Albion last start; and leading from the front: bowling medium pace, he is No.1 on the standings with 12 wickets at 11.08 apiece.
Fourth-paced Mornington and third-placed Kookaburras are about 15 and 12 points behind third-placed Albion, with ladder-leading Court House about 10 points ahead of Albion. Four rounds remain before the finals. The minor premiers advance straight to the grand final, while the second- and third-placed teams meet in the semi-final, for the right to advance to the finale.
Doubleday said “it was good to see” a more competitive competition: “It’s good to be playing competitive cricket rather than just turning up and sort of expecting to win. Now you’ve sort of got to work for it.”
Court House, he added, were “tracking fairly well” in pursuit of a premiership trifecta.