KFC PLAYER OF THE WEEK #6: Nathan Blanch 4/30 (22)
NATHAN Blanch is no stranger to bowling long spells on hot summer days in Grafton.
The GDSC Easts/Westlawn Crown Hotel fast bowler has been rewarded for his latest 132-ball stint last Saturday, voted KFC Player of the Week despite his side being on the wrong side of a two-wicket loss.
Blanch took 4 for 30 off 22 overs in an attempt to keep South Services from reaching Easts/Westlawn's mediocre total of 133 the previous week, while Shannon Connor (4 for 35 off 20) was equally impressive. But Souths' lower middle order of Chris Cleaver (43), Matt Dalton (7) and Adrian Boyd (20*) combined to recover from 6 for 64 annd see their side home at McKittrick Park.
"It was a really big effort from the boys last week, but not enough runs as usual," Blanch said.
"You just don't expect to win matches when you post that many runs on a pretty good batting deck.
"Myself and Shannon through their batsman, but then Matty (Dalton) hung around with Chris (Cleaver), I had three or four edges fall short of slip and anything on Chris's pads he put them away to square leg and got the deficit down pretty quick.
"Once we got Chris out we thought we were still in it, but there not many chances in the end."
The pressure is starting to mount for Easts/Westlawn after going winless through the first round of two-day matches.
Blanch hopes his side can the ball rolling on their season in the first round of one-day matches at McKittrick Park today when they take on Brothers Clocktower Hotel, who are unbeaten.
Easts/Westlawn defeated Brothers in the only one-day clash between the two sides last season, with Blanch taking 5 for 19 off 8 overs on that occasion.
"One-dayers can go either way," Blanch said.
"It should be a good batting deck at McKittrick, nice and low, so if the boys get set they should get some runs."
The first round of one dayers will see all four teams play in the same vicinity with South Services taking on Ulmarra Hotel Tucabia Copmanhurst on adjacent JJ Lawrence Turf.
Name: Nathan Blanch
Team: Easts/Westlawn Premier League
Occupation: Hospital assistant
Achievement: 4 for 30 off 22 overs v Brothers
• 1st Nathan Blanch - Easts/Westlawn (Premier League): 4/30 (22)
• 2nd Andy Kinnane - Brothers (T20, Premier League): 5/16 (3.4), 6/30 (15.2)
• Kyran Robertson - Westlawn (3rd Grade): 3/13 (4.2), 32 runs
Describe last week's performance in one word: Tiring
How's 2020/21 shaping up for your team? When we get our full strength side on the paddock we'll be handy. Hopefully when we get that one win we can build off that.
Funniest teammate: Johnny Martin, always cracking funnies when he's keeping.
Most annoying teammate: Jackson Grieve, constantly asking for a bowl.
Who with and when did you first play cricket: Westlawn Public School in Year 5 and 6. We reached the top four in the state and went to Sydney.
Greatest achievement on the cricket field: There's two. Double hattrick against Easts at Ulmarra in 2018/19.
A close second was when I took nine-fa in one innings (9 for 38 off 18.3) against Easts in 2013/14.
Best cricketer you've played with or against: Mick Morris. He coached me to bowl and I watched him growing up as a fast bowler.
A ny pregame rituals: I don't eat.
Favourite KFC Big Bash team and player: I support the Melbourne Stars, and the player I really like watching is Marcus Stoinis.
Favourite current Test cricketer: Mitchell Starc. I like seeing him steam in bowling those quick yorkers, and when he goes for the tonk he can hit a ball. Good to watch in Test cricket.
Favourite cricketer of all-time: Glenn McGrath. I loved watching him bowl.
Everyone calls me Pigeon, which was his nickname. Apparently I bowled that line and length. It would've been Jason Chevalley who started that one I reckon.
CRCA Cricketer of the Year prediction (rival player): I'll throw it out there and go with Eli Fahey. I reckon he's going to kick on and get some runs this year.