Semi-finals practice session
By TIM HOWARD
THREE of the four semifinalists in the Lower Clarence Cricket Association are in action this afternoon, determined to get in some practice before finals cricket begins the following Saturday.
At Barry Watts Oval, Maclean, minor premiers Yamba takes on Wanderers, who finished the season in third spot.
However, with Wanderers' skipper Darryl Simmons in fine touch after his matchwinning innings of 73 in the Interdistrict final last Sunday, the Yamba team is tak- ing nothing for granted.
Yamba's captain Matt Ardrey said both teams are below full strength for the game, but believe a win for his team would take them into the finals in the right frame of mind.
"We're going into this game to get a bit of form on the board," he said.
"There's a couple of boys, a couple of the young players, who will benefit a lot from this sort of experience."
Ardrey said the state of the Barry Watts Oval surface could have a bearing on the outcome.
"With the size of the ground and the bit of rain we've had it's hard to score boundaries," he said.
"But it can be hard to defend with plenty of wideopen spaces.
"It just depends who uses the conditions the best."
He said Yamba will be again without Matt Cheney and Evan Rice is away with rugby union committments.
"I think a couple of them (Wanderers) are away at a wedding too," he said.
Ardrey was happy with the form of his team from last week, accounting for the unpredictable Lawrence outfit.
"It looked a lot easier than it was," Ardrey said.
"Kirkie (Daniel Kirt) and (Mark) Valette laid the foundation with a good start and me and Greg Walker got us home."
nIN the other game Lawrence will be looking for a win against Harwood as it prepares for its tilt at the semi-finals.
Although losing comfortably to Yamba, it managed a respectable 141 last week, with middle order players Mark Field, 32, and Cameron Green, 21, providing some stability in the middle order.
Harwood has struggled to make score the bowlers can defend this season.
nNEXT week Yamba plays Lawrence in the major semifinal and United takes on Wanderers in the sudden death minor semi-final.