Cloud hangs over valley cricket
By TONY WHITE
WICKET inspections early this morning will determine the fate of the two Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League matches today.
Persistent rain in the Clarence Valley this week which has dampened wickets and outfields has put the round eight matches in extreme doubt.
Defending premiers Westlawn Crown Hotel is scheduled to take on this season's competition leaders Harwood Hilton at Yamba Oval, and South Services are scheduled to clash with G I Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst at Ellem Oval, Grafton.
"After speaking to the curator at Yamba this afternoon I'd have to say the game at Yamba is very, very doubtful," Clarence River Cricket Association president Jeff Hackett said yesterday.
"We had a look at Ellem Oval and while John Holmes was able to give the wicket a roll yesterday morning (Thursday) there has been a lot of rain.
"Unfortunately, it (Ellem) looks doubtful, too.
"We'll make a final decision on both venues early tomorrow. There is a chance third grade matches at McKittrick and J J Lawrence will be transferred."
The Westlawn-Harwood clash was shaping as a terrific precursor to the finals series.
If the game goes ahead Harwood will be without Mark Ensbey. All rounder Matt Young will come into the top side.
"We haven't been beaten by Westlawn in two seasons and the boys are always keen on knocking them over," Harwood skipper Tim McMahon said.
"We're out to prove we're worthy leaders."
Tucabia captain Damien Rouse said former captain Matt Pigg would play against South.
"Matt's back and on paper we look to have a very strong batting and bowling line-up with depth," he said.
"But our problem all season has been putting it all together.
"It's a matter of us turning the close games into wins and all clicking at the same time.
"Hopefully that can happen sooner or later."