Harwood looking to capitalise on season long form
HARWOOD v BROTHERS: Minor premiers Harwood will be looking to capatalise on their season long form which has put them at the top of the Clarence River Cricket Association Premier League ladder.
The Harwood side have only dropped one match all season to Coutts Crossing in round 12 but since then have not looked back racking up two victories including a last round thumping of fellow finalists Tucabia Copmanhurst.
But their opposition Brothers are also coming off a strong showing in the final round, picking up an outright victory against competition cellar-dwellers GDSC Easts.
A weekend off playing last week, while freshening players and allowing extra time to work out niggling injuries, has also possibly halted any momentum for either side - however Harwood captain Nathan Ensbey does not believe it will be a major issue.
"We have been training fairly hard this past week so I don't think it will be too much of an issue," he said. "It would have been nice to have a game last weekend but I don't think the week off will affect us any more than any other side.
"The boys have had a good season obviously and everyone is really confident heading into the finals now."
Harwood will be buoyed by the return of strike bowler Nathan Essex who was unavailable to play in the final weeks of the regular season after securing work up the coast.
"He has been working up the coast for the last couple of months," Ensbey said. "So we have not had him playing for a couple of weeks now.
"Esso will be a welcome inclusion into our side, he is our opening bowler and a decent bat in the middle order."
The Harwood side have been able to show their depth of talent with both Ben and Hayden McMahon stepping up in the bowling ranks in Essex's absence this season.
"We have been lucky with the juniors we have bought through this year as well," Ensbey said "Harry Nicholson, Lachie Johnson and Jacob McMahon have all performed very well this year making the step up at Premier League level.
"But I am thinking our more experienced blokes like Matt Young and Mark Ensbey will really step up this weekend and lead from the front."
Brothers will be playing the same 11 players who defeated GDSC Easts outright in the final round.