Westlawn’s John Blanch sat out his club’s semi-final fixture. Will he win a recall for this weekend’s grand final?
Westlawn’s John Blanch sat out his club’s semi-final fixture. Will he win a recall for this weekend’s grand final?

Blanch call a sticky wicket

TWELVE months ago Westlawn bowler John Blanch was the flavour of the month.

But in 2010-11 the enigmatic left-arm seamer has struggled to make an impact with the ball.

Blanch took an astonishing 50 wickets in the Premier League in 2009-10 bamboozling opposition batsmen with his movement off the deck.

For his efforts Blanch was named CRCA bowler of the year.

And with this week's Premier League decider between Westlawn and Harwood to be played at McKittrick Park most cricket pundits expect to see Blanch's name in the first XI.

In the preliminary final against Harwood Westlawn decided to strengthen their batting by including all-rounder Ian O'Toole at Blanch's expense.

And their plan worked a treat.

Westlawn ended up winning the match to book a place in the grand final.

Westlawn selectors took the gamble to omit Blanch due to the batsmen-friendly Harwood wicket.

It's no secret the Harwood pitch favours batsmen but a rain-affected McKittrick Park is a different story.

McKittrick Park has been a happy hunting ground for Blanch in the past and with more showers predicted during the week the wicket should be tailor-made for his seaming deliveries.

There's no doubting Blanch has had a lean year in the wicket-taking department after his stellar performances last season.

The question is will Blanch be given an opportunity to weave his magic in arguably the most important game of the season?

When asked about his chances of taking the field on Saturday Blanch was non-committal.

“I'd prefer to make no comment,” Blanch said.

“I'll just wait and see what happens during the week.

“They replaced me with Ian O'Toole last time. Ian also bowls left-arm and he bats down the order which will strengthen our batting.”

According to Westlawn captain Daniel Amos the side will be picked tonight.

“We'll select the team after training. John should be a good chance to play given his past success at McKittrick Park,” the Westlawn captain said.

MEANWHILE, the next instalment of the Clarence Valley Dream Team will be in Thursday's issue of the Examiner.

Three of the best all-rounders the Clarence has produced will be put to the test.

THE much anticipated Premier League Player's Poll will be in Friday's Examiner.

Sure to get tongues wagging, the poll will reveal what players think of their peers and the state of the game.

The best batsman, bowler, biggest sook and the team players would least like to play with are just a few intriguing findings.

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