Sporting rivalries usually take time to mature, but not that between the Hunter Hitmen and Newcastle Blasters.
Two of the closest and thrilling finishes imaginable in their two Regional Big Bash Twenty20 matches to date has ensured pride, bragging rights and a large smattering of revenge will be at stake when they resume rivalries at Robins Oval on Sunday.
The clash is the Hitmen and Blasters’ final game of a four-team, round-robin series in Maitland over the weekend also featuring the Illawarra Flames and Central Coast Rush.
Hitmen skipper Matt Trappel said the selectors had come up with a 15-man team ready to exact revenge against the Blasters and to beat the Flames and Rush, who were two of the hottest cricket teams in country NSW.
“We have a fierce rivalry with the Blasters now after last season’s loss with a last-ball run-out and going down the year before in a super over loss after the scores were tied,” he said.
“They really have been brilliant games but losing in that fashion really hurts, especially after the Blasters progressed all the way to the SCG and the semi-finals.”
The Hitmen will feature returning Maitland players Josh Trappel, Josh Geary and Jacob Montgomery from the Newcastle first grade comp and some of the Hunters best all-round cricketers from the Maitland and Singleton competitions.
Josh Trappel will again be a key player after almost steering the Hunter side to victory last year when he scored 25, including three sixes and a four, from the second last over with his side needing 37 from the last 12 ball.
Trappel said early wickets when bowling and batting out their 20 overs while keeping wickets in hand were the key to victory.
Hunter Hitmen: Nick Bower, Jacob Carey, Callum Gabriel, Josh Geary, Tim Harding, Aaron Mahony, Lincoln Mills, Jacob Montgomery, Jarrod Moxey, Jacob Page, Luke Stewart, Cael Smith, Josh Trappel, Matt Trappel (c), Josh Tuckwell,
Big Bash fixtures
2pm: Hitmen v Flames, Robins Oval; Blasters v Rush, Lorn Park
9.30am Hitmen v Rush, Lorn Park; Flames v Blasters, Robins Oval
1.30pm Hitmen v Blasters, Robins Oval; Flames v Rush, Lorn Park