Busselton Margaret River Cricket Association will trial Friday night matches

KEY PLAYER: Mike Hibberd is one of the strong players who will give Cowaramup a good chance of defending their B-Grade T20 championship title when the T20 competition gets under way next week. Photo: Vanessa Hatton.

KEY PLAYER: Mike Hibberd is one of the strong players who will give Cowaramup a good chance of defending their B-Grade T20 championship title when the T20 competition gets under way next week. Photo: Vanessa Hatton.

FRIDAY afternoon games will be trialled for the first time in the 110-year history of the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association when the T20 competition gets under way this month.

Since the Busselton Cricket Association started way back in 1911, games have only ever been played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The regular A-Grade 50-overs home-and-away competition will be suspended for the next six weeks while the T20 competition gets under way.

This Saturday will see the opening round of the A-Grade T20 competition, with double-headers at Barnard Park and Bovell Park involving St Marys, YOBS, Dunsborough and Hawks.

Meanwhile, B-Grade cricket will continue this Saturday with one more round of regular 45-over games, before games are suspended for the T20 competition.

Friday, January 15, will see the historic first ever weekday games played, with T20 fixtures in both A-Grade and B-Grade divisions.

In A-Grade, Margaret River Hawks will host St Marys at Gloucester Park, while Dunsborough host YOBS at Dunsborough Playing Fields.

In B-Grade, Hawks will host St Marys, Cowaramup will host Vasse, and Dunsborough will host YOBS.

All Friday afternoon games are set to start at 4pm. With a view to the future, the cricket association will be interested to hear from clubs about the logistical difficulties of players finishing work early so they can play.

Cowaramup are set to bounce back and make a strong showing to defend their B-Grade T20 championship title from last season.

Kavy de Silva is likely to captain the Cowaramup B-Grade side, and with Josh Curtis, Mike Hibberd, Ben Shepherd and Seb Miller also likely to appear for the Bulls, they have the makings of a strong team.

In other cricket news, Busselton-Margaret River will send only one team to Senior Country Week this month.

It is only the second time since the Busselton and Margaret River cricket associations joined forces in 1975 that just one side has gone to Senior Country Week, the other year being 2009.

Ben Payne is set to captain the BMRCA team once again in A-Section, while Matty Braid and Pieter Bresser will share the job as team manager.

Senior Country Week starts on Sunday, January 17, with a rest day on Tuesday, and games on other days leading up to the final on Friday, January 22.

If the BMRCA team reaches the A-Section final it will be played at Murdoch University.

Junior cricketers have been much keener to represent the local area, with no fewer than four teams from the Busselton-Margaret River Junior Cricket Association appearing in Junior Country Week in Perth this week.

There are two Under-16s sides from Busselton-Margaret River (competing in A-Section and C-Section) and another two Under-14s sides from Busselton-Margaret River (competing in A-Section and B-Section).

Team support at Junior Country Week is being provided by manager Chiara Bailey and coaches Jeff Cooke and Murray Gould (16 A-Section), manager Megan Liston and coach Karl Clively (16 C-Section), manager Sharon Barrow and coach Chris Reagan (14 A-Section) and manager Sandy Charles and coach Matt Snaddon (14 B-Section).

Junior Country Week started on Monday and will continue through to Friday.

The No. 1 Busselton-Margaret River junior team is particularly strong and comprises Darcy Bailey, Alex Cook, Joshua van Zyl, Seamus Demou, Finn Barrett-Lennard, Matthew Burgess, Lachy Campbell, Rory Calhoun, Oliver Carlyle, Hayden Collins, Riley Wood and Brodie Gould.