THE barbs were flying between opposition captains this week ahead of today's explosive Cudgen and Terranora Lakes LJ Hooker League cricket clash at Bilambil.
The powerhouses of Tweed District cricket will meet for the first time this season in a one-day clash that promises plenty of fireworks.
The players from the two sides are best of mates off the field but all that is forgotten each season when they don the whites and meet on a hard pitch with a cricket match at stake.
It is a vital clash for both sides with Terranora desperate for a win and 11 points out of the top four and Cudgen keen to make amends after falling to its first loss of the season last week.
At opposite ends of the physical spectrum, Terranora captain Leigh Baker and Cudgen captain Terry Wilson made some astute observations about each other this week in the lead-up to the clash.
Baker suggested Wilson could overcome his disappointment at missing out on the gig as the Gold Coast Titans mascot – after a number of successful years marauding as Tweed Coast's Captain Raider – by making a big score. But Baker and the other Terranora bowlers will try and stop that happening.
“We'll be looking to get the garden gnome out early,” Baker said. “Captain Raider will definitely be a key early wicket.”
Wilson fired back at the mouthy Terranora captain, who has spent more time scoring than playing cricket recently after being suspended for an over-the-top wicket celebration, suggesting Baker had spent too long with his head in the clouds.
“With ‘Chappy' back as captain it will make Terranora a stronger, more formidable side,” he said.
Wilson doesn't hold any personal grudges against off-season club-changers Heath Wilson and Josh Callegari but said they would know where they came from when play got under way on Saturday.
“It will be the first time any of us have ever played against those two, and the first time they will come up against us, so we will see what happens,” he said.
All jokes aside, Wilson said it was a really important game for both sides.
“If either one of us drops this game, our finals position is in jeopardy ... our top-two goal will be under fire as well,” he said.
Baker said Terranora needed to beat Cudgen then win outright in the remaining three rounds to have any chance of living up to pre-season expectations to make the finals.
“We need everything to go our way, plus get a few outright wins,” he said. “But when you aren't winning, and I think we have lost three in a row now, maybe even four, you can't really plan to win the rest of your games with outright points.
“We've got Adam Rodgers and Jack Boote out this week so we are short again and we'll be making up the numbers again this week. But we'll give it our all (and) it will be a good game between us and Cudgen. We're the best of mates but we always give each other a lot on the field.
“They have had the wood on us over three years now; we'll be looking to expose their poor form from this year and exploit their lack of practice.
“We have fielded and batted really well this season considering we had our first training run last week, the field has been flooded the rest of the season.”