Brothers star to miss the weekend double header
By TONY WHITE
STAR Brothers batsman Matt Ryan will be out of action for the next fortnight after injuring his ankle when captaining the North Coast Under-21 team at Gosford last Saturday.
And the 19-year-old is disappointed he will miss turning out for Brothers in this weekend's Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League double header matches this weekend.
Today Brothers Post Office Hotel take on South Services at Ellem Oval and tomorrow Brothers tackle Westlawn Crown Hotel at McKittrick Oval.
Competition leaders Harwood Hilton, coming off a bye last weekend, clash with GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst at Iluka Oval on Saturday and South Services at Ellem Oval on Sunday.
Westlawn have the bye on Saturday and Tucabia the bye on Sunday.
Ryan missed Brothers first win of the season against Tucabia last weekend due to his representative commitments and the side's victory over Coutts Crossing in the South Grafton Ex-Services-Daily Examiner night cricket competition on Monday.
"Hopefully the boys go all right this weekend," Ryan said. "I've missed both our wins, but I'm happy for the team and it would be nice to carry it on after Christmas."
Ryan's injury came when he was struck, fielding a first slip, during the country Under-21 selection trials at Gosford.
"A bloke bowled a wide full toss and I didn't get my hands down quick enough. The ball got me a direct hit on my ankle," he said.
"And to make matters worse I only scored two runs. I've had a shocker.
"I couldn't play on Sunday and the team got beat by Newcastle in the final.
"I've got a big haematoma on the ankle and have to rest for two weeks."
Due to his misfortune and not playing on Sunday, Ryan is not confident he will make the Under-21 NSW Country team. Successful members are notified by mail.
Harwood captain Tim McMahon said batsman Matt Young would make his Premier League debut this weekend and opener Ed Munday is back in the team after missing the side's win over Brothers on November 26.
"Half the side played in a representative game against Nambucca Heads and we've trained quiet a few times to make up for the bye," McMahon said. "Tucabia with Matt Pigg back will be dangerous in a one-dayer and Sunday should be interesting against South who are going well.
"Everyone's keen and confident."
South's in-form bowler Jason Thompson will not play first grade this weekend. Due to him being unable to play on Sunday's Thompson instead will play second grade.
All rounder Brendan Taylor and Danny McLennan come into the top side.
"Rather than disrupt the one-day side I'll play seconds," Thompson, who has taken a swag of wickets lately said. "I've felt really good with my bowling for the past couple of weeks but my batting is awful. I've had four bats and scored six runs. My six-year-old son has scored more and he keeps reminding me."
Westlawn skipper Tony Blanch said the return of opener Brendan Purser would further strengthen the side. Purser's brother Daniel proved a match winner in Westlawn's win over South last week, scoring 35no in the first innings and 80no in the second innings.
And following Daniel Amos's 60 against South, Blanch expects the opener to continue his good form. Andrew Firth's recent bowling contributions are also a plus for the premiers.