Clarence Valley grudge match shaping up to be a cracker
NCCC CRICKET: Lower Clarence cricketers will be out to settle a few scores when they clash with fierce rivals Clarence River at Ulmarra Showground tomorrow.
LCCA captain Luke Many said his team was still smarting from a North Coast Cricket Council Inter-district final loss to CRCA a couple of years ago.
"Yeah, they've had the wood on us for a while since that one," he said. "But really the bottom line is CRCA doesn't like losing to us and we hate losing to them."
Many said losing in-form batsman Doug Harris because of work commitments was a blow, but his replacement in veteran left-hander Mark Ensbey softened the impact.
"Dick (Ensbey) has that big match temperament and understands the rivalry between the two teams," Many said.
Many will also be down on experience with Daryl Simmons declaring himself unavailable, giving talented young all-rounder Lachie Johnson a berth.
"Daryl's big on giving the young blokes a go, so he's stood aside for Lachie," he said.
"Lachie's been out of cricket for the past couple of weeks to concentrate on his HSC studies, but is back in this weekend.
"He's hitting them pretty well. He got a ton for first up and his left arm spinners are good value for us too."
Many said both sides enjoyed the lift in intensity in the inter-district games.
"When you play them you know you're going to be facing bowlers like Brad Chard and Nathan Blanch who are the two form bowlers in the competition," he said.
"And then you have (CRCA skipper) Jake Kroehnert, who's coming off a rep ton last week. He's obviously hitting them pretty well."
Kroehnert, who broke his duck as the CRCA representative skipper last weekend, was also looking forward to tomorrow's clash.
Speaking after scoring a brilliant centry against Lismore in the McDonald's Country Cup game at Ellem Oval last Sunday, Kroehnert said Lower Clarence was always a challenge.
"They always seems to pull out something extra for these games," he said.
Many said the decision to play at Ulmarra shouldn't be an issue, despite some problems with the wicket in last week's premier league game between Harwood and Tucabia.
"Normally it's pretty hard and flat," he said. "It was something about the sprinklers last week. You can't worry about accidents like that."