Kyancutta out to defend title as new Le Hunte cricket season begins

CHAMPIONS: Kyancutta's victorious 2017-18 A grade side. Back: Jeff Bigg, Jacob May, Tasman Fitzgerald, Hayden Heath, Ty McKenna, Damien Mullan, Brett O’Brien; front: Mackenzie Heath, Saxon O’Brien, Balyn O’Brien, Jordan Stutley, Darren O’Brien and Craig O’Brien. Picture: Di McKenna
CHAMPIONS: Kyancutta's victorious 2017-18 A grade side. Back: Jeff Bigg, Jacob May, Tasman Fitzgerald, Hayden Heath, Ty McKenna, Damien Mullan, Brett O’Brien; front: Mackenzie Heath, Saxon O’Brien, Balyn O’Brien, Jordan Stutley, Darren O’Brien and Craig O’Brien. Picture: Di McKenna

Champions for the past two seasons, Kyancutta are expected to have a fight on their hands to defend their Le Hunte Cricket Association crown.

The new season starts next weekend with Waddikee/Warramboo, Western Districts and Wudinna out to knock the champions off their perch.

Association president Wade Shepperd said they were looking forward to striding out to the middle once again.

“I think we are all ready to go and players are excited, but it comes around so quick,” he said.

“A grade numbers are looking pretty good, but we are starting to struggle with B grade players.

“Juniors will continue as in recent seasons where they will come together and two teams will be picked on the day from who is there.”

Last season’s grand final saw Kyancutta get the better of a WaddiBoos side which had dominated throughout the season, and Mr Shepperd is expecting the pair to be the benchmark again.

“Waddikee/Warramboo will be out to get the title this year, they were unlucky last season and couldn’t get it done in the grand final,” he said.

“Kyancutta have won the last few years and will be around the mark again.

“Districts are maybe lacking a few bowlers but can challenge and Wudinna will be competitive on their day – it will be a reasonably even competition.”

Mr Shepperd said Tyler Chapman, Asher Sampson and Lubin Stringer would be players to look out for from Waddikee/Warramboo, while Ty McKenna, Jordan Stutley and Tasman Fitzgerald would lead the way for Kyancutta.

He said Western Districts teammates Angus Gunn and Julian Gosling would be important figures, while Viv O’Brien and Steven Westlake would be vital for Wudinna – but he said they would miss the influence of the injured Darryl Marshall.

Mr Shepperd said Le Hunte were also out to challenge for Henderson Shield honours.

“We were quite competitive last season and if we get the best team on the park we can do well,” he said.

Round one sees a grand final rematch between Kyancutta and the WaddiBoos, while Western Districts host Wudinna.