Hold on honey, there?s a grand final to play
By TONY WHITE
YAMBA cricket captain Matt Ardrey is anxiously awaiting what could be cause for double celebration this weekend.
Today, the 28-year-old will lead Yamba against defending premiers United in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association first grade grand final at Yamba Oval.
And his wife, Bobbie, is due to have the couple's first child any day.
"It's been a bit of an anxious wait," Ardrey said.
"Hopefully we can get through the grand final and Bobbie won't go until Sunday or Monday."
Bobbie is already two days overdue and yesterday the Ardreys headed to Lismore so she could have a check up.
When they arrived home, there was a surprise waiting.
"We got home to find the house decorated in United colours with green, yellow and white streamers everywhere," Ardrey said.
"It was a bit of a payback from Luke Many (United player).
"I decorated his car the previous day with a big sign and black and gold streamers (Yamba's colours)."
Ardrey works with United captain Nick Clark and other United players at the Home Hardware store in Maclean.
As you would expect, plenty of banter is exchanged.
"It's been a fun week," Ardrey said. "There's been a bit of ribbing going on."
Yamba finished minor premiers with United convincingly beating Wanderers in last week's final. Yamba's star batsman, Braden Dinham, will miss the grand final and has been replaced by Matt Cheney.
"We've played well all year and I reckon we're a big chance," Ardrey said.
"We'll be relying on Dan Kirk, Matt (Cheney) and myself to get the bulk of the runs and Mark Vallette and Robbie Becker to get among the wickets."
Clark said United would be at full strength, with Luke Many returning and Aaron Slavell dropping out.
"We've trained really well and we're a real good show," Clark said. "Luke Many, Brett Jones and hopefully the rest of the top order can fire. Dean Moran will be our backbone and Tom Martin has batted well all year. Michael Essex showed last week what he's capable of."
Clark has adjusted the batting order, Essex promoted to No. 5, Jones No. 4 and Clark dropping back to No. 7.
Winning the toss will be paramount Clark believes.
"Both teams will want to win the toss. We defended 119 against minor premiers Iluka to win last year's grand final."