FIERCE, HISTORIC: The 5 greatest cricket rivalries in Gympie
CRICKET: Fans and players will surely understand the power of a good rivalry and with the Gympie cricket season just three weeks away these are the five biggest.
5. Harlequins v Colts
Going down to Colts in the T20 grand final and semi-final last year is something the Harlequins would rather forget but it has re-ignited the fire between the two clubs.
"It definitely means we want to get one back on them this year,” Harlequins president and captain Shaun Ringuet said.
"We will be going out there extra hard against them this year just to prove a point.”
The reigning premiers the Colts are pretty strong all-round team and makes it harder to get some runs on the board.
"Their bowlers are hard to get away, the bowl some good areas,” Ringuet said.
"They bowl really good channels to us and it makes it hard to score freely and we posted about 170 odd in the semi-final against them last year but they really restricted us in the first 20 overs.”
4. Brad Brigg (Valleys) v Murgon
The Valleys president Brad Brigg might play in Gympie but grew up in Murgon which has started a rivalry with him and the team.
"I started my senior career in a Murgon B-grade side before Ashley 'Lizard' Sippel (Murgon captain) took me under his wing and brought me into the A-grade side as a 14-year-old,” he said.
"Back then our team was called the Redgate Rockapes. I played two seasons of seniors in Murgon before moving to Gympie where I joined Valleys in 1999.
"In 2005 I decided to head back to Murgon for another season with Lizard we went through undefeated before losing the grand final. I rejoined Valleys in 2011.”
Murgon joined the Gympie Regional Cricket competition in 2017 and Brigg said he was excited to battle against his old club.
"I was excited when I heard they were joining the competition, it gives my the opportunity to play against some old teammates and play back on my old home ground,” he said.
"It's always a great challenge playing the likes of Jason Webber, Graham Brown and Lizard, just to name a few, as they have been probably the most consistent team since joining the comp and are always hard to beat, especially at home.
"In some ways I miss playing with Lizard and the Murgon boys and feel we have unfinished business after losing that final in the 2005/06 competition but for now beating the old team is my priority.”
3. Harlequins v Valleys
It might be a recent rivalry has ignited again in recent years.
"There has always been a long standing rivalry with them dating back when the older guys were playing in the 70s and 80s but recently with me being around there, there has been some tight matches,” Harlequins president and captain Shaun Ringuet said.
"We tied a game with them last year, lost one and won one. There is always a pretty tight battle, everyone gets pretty fired up and it gets pretty tense out there.”
Despite a must win contest against all clubs, Ringuet said the players take it up a level against Valleys.
"I think a lot of the guys step it up a bit,” he said.
"One of our bowlers Kurt Beutel used to play for Valleys and I think he really puts in more and really bends the back playing against Valleys.”
Ringuet said it is not just the regular season, a few close grand finals have gone to the last over.
"There has been close grand finals in one-day and two-day format when we were playing those,” he said.
"Just recently coming down to 10 runs either way. Generally gets a bit tense towards the back end of the game down to the final wicket or last couple of runs you are trying to defend.
"Valley's generally have a pretty strong bowling attack and it generally gets pretty intense when we are out there batting. Obviously, not setting a high total in a one day game means we have to bowl and field well.”
2. Callum Morrison (Wests bowler) v Harlequins
Callum 'Big Red' Morrison loves the challenge against the Harlequins young guns, it is a game is always fired up for.
"He takes on just about every young gun in the Harlequins,” Wests A-grade captain Grant Weller said.
"Big Red gets fired up at their (Harlequins) batsman Owen Dugdale a left handed bat and Harlequins wicketkeeper Shaun Ringuet.”
Weller said it was good to see young players excited for the game.
"I have been playing cricket since I was 11-years-old and these young ones are the future,” he said.
"I can't bowl fast and it is pretty difficult to bat against it but it is great see them charge in to bowl.”
1. Valleys v Wests
This rivalry start back in the 1970s and 80s where these two clubs were on the field for premiership glory.
Wests president and life member Scott McIntosh said it was a game he looked forward to.
"Almost all the grand finals I played in the 70s and 80s was against them,” he said.
"I remember some of the older heads of these clubs that had been retired for a few year coming to the field to watch this game.
"It was always fierce on the field but it would continue off it as well.”
Despite the changes in the game and competition, the rivalry is still strong today.
"It is a good rivalry we have against them,” he said.
"It has built up over the years. We have played many four-day grand finals against Valleys which have gone down to the wire.”
Valleys president Brad Brigg still remembers the longest over bowled in Gympie in a Wests v Valleys games.
"A young Steve Brady was batting for Valleys facing up to a Wests firebrand opening bowler. Brady had a look in his, that we had seen before and knew he was not going to hang around,” he said.
"Brady put ball after ball over the fence at Albert Park and down to the river. After some time searching for the ball with no avail there was a lot of scrounging around in bags to try and find a decent ball to use.
"This happened a number of times throughout the over and about 20-25 minutes later the over was complete with Brady taking 30 plus runs off it. Brady complied one of the fastest half centuries seen in Gympie bringing up his 50 off 13 balls.”
The Gympie Regional Cricket season starts on Saturday, September 21 at One Mile Oval.