Arch rivals get date for Shield clash
CRICKET: A date has been set for the annual Grafton Toyota Cotten Shield representative clash with Clarence River and Lower Clarence going into battle at McKittrick Park on Sunday, February 10.
The clash will be played under traditional Cotten Shield rules in a 50-over format.
CRCA president Tim Kinnane said the association was excited to host the clash as it is the only representative fixture left on the calendar.
"After the interdistrict competition was cancelled in favour of the North Coast Premier League this season, this has become the biggest match of the season,” he said.
At one stage the Cotten Shield appeared to be headed down to Harwood Oval, but a lack of lights at the highly-vaunted venue put a stop to that idea.
Lower Clarence are the reigning champions after the side, led by all-rounder Ben McMahon, pulled off an epic run chase to win by seven wickets at McKittrick Park last year.
McMahon was the catalyst for the successful chase alongside seasoned campaigner Mark Ensbey.
McMahon (69*) and Ensbey (71*) put on an unbeaten 147-run stand as they comfortably chased down arch-rivals Clarence River's total of 181 with more than 10 overs to spare.
But it could have proven to be a much different night for Lower when seamer Brandon 'Bear' Honeybrook was removed from the attack four balls into the match after bowling consecutive 'beamers'.
All three Lower Clarence players are expected to feature in the annual clash next month.