Bulls trample state rivals to make Sheffield Shield final
REFEREE, you can shut the gate…the Bulls have risen from the dust to make yet another final.
Following the season that's been, you could be forgiven for thinking James Hopes is the 'Peter La-Fleur' of Queensland Cricket.
Dodgeball players we are not, but our team of 'Average Joes' has come from behind in every format this summer to secure a finals berth, and subsequent victory.
Hopefully the Shield final starting today is no different.
Today's fixture is a replay of last year's Shield final against Tasmania, albeit this time on their turf.
No, we didn't spend the pre-season dodging wrenches, and coach Boof Lehmann doesn't exactly resemble Patches O'Houlahan, but our pathway to success has been through pure hard work and determination to play for each other and not ourselves.
It's a tribute to our players and coaching staff, who have come together to develop a champion team, rather than a team of champions.
Today is a chance to start the ball rolling in the quest to firstly go back-to-back as Shield champions, and secondly, take out all three formats this summer.
The few unknowns going into today's deciding fixture will shape for a compelling match.
The pitch is one.
Following a number of 'green monster' wickets in Hobart this year, I have a suspicion it may go the other way and become a bat-fest on a slow and low wicket.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the threat of Ricky Ponting, this season's deserved Shield Player of the Year with 875 runs at an average of 87.5.
Big games mean big players stand up and I'm licking my lips at the Ryan Harris v Ponting battle.
It's also a chance for the younger players to make a name for themselves, whether it's our Joe Burns or Alex Doolan from Tasmania, who are both on the cusp of Australian selection.
Whichever way the game plays out you can be certain the Maroons will fight it down to the wire once again, with our veterans in Harris and Hopes leading the charge.