John Blanch will make his representative cricket debut against Coffs.
John Blanch will make his representative cricket debut against Coffs.

Secret weapon to bowl into Coffs

ALL EYES will be on the Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park on Sunday as Coffs Harbour plays host to Clarence River Cricket Association in the Inter-District Cricket Final.

Clarence River will feature in both the First and Second Grade fixtures against Coffs and have named strong squads in a bid to win back-to-back titles.

Clarence River’s first XI have appeared to cover all bases, naming a balanced side and for captain Doug Harris the prospect of taking out the title two years in succession is incentive enough.

“It’s a good side on paper and it would be a great achievement to win two years in a row,” Harris told the Daily Examiner.

“We will however be missing Chris Adamson and Bob McKenzie. Losing players with their experience is a blow but I expect the other guys to step up,” Harris said.

“Chris showed all his experience bowling at the death against Lower a few weeks ago and Bob is renowned for posting big scores at this level.”

Westlawn and Premier League leading wicket-taker John Blanch makes his debut at the top level and according to Harris it’s a well-deserved start.

He is expected to be a secret weapon for River – as he has been for his club side – in a strong bowling lineup.

“John will bring plenty of variety to our attack and has been the form bowler in the Premier League this season. I hope he has the same affect against Coffs as he does against sides in the local competition,” he said.

Jason Rainbow has retained his place in the side with Brothers’ Ryan Lynch coming into the team as a first-change bowler.

Harris admits the Coffs side are an unknown quantity but was confident in his team’s ability to come up trumps.

“I don’t know much at all about their side. We just have to concentrate on our game and apply ourselves to the task at hand.” he said.

“We have been guilty in the past of losing our way in the middle overs,” he said.

“We need someone to build an innings around... maybe Brendan Purser or someone coming in at three or four.

“We have plenty of options in the bowling department.”

Clarence River’s second XI, led by Brad McLaren, has gone for a combination of youth and experience. Several players would not look out of place in the first XI.

Matt Dougherty, Andrew Lancaster and Tom Kroehnert are all capable of doing damage with the bat, and with Brett Paxton and Adam Spies leading the way with the ball, Coffs will be tested in all aspects of the game.

Spin duo Troy McLaren and Luke Chard could well be the difference between the two sides on the day.

Both have the ability to tie down batsmen and get them caught on the crease.



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