OFF AND RUNNING: Lawrence batsman Brett O'Connor top scored with 24 in Lawrence's fateful run chase against Wanderers in round one at Barry Watts Oval.
OFF AND RUNNING: Lawrence batsman Brett O'Connor top scored with 24 in Lawrence's fateful run chase against Wanderers in round one at Barry Watts Oval. Debrah Novak

LCCA: O'Connor predicts even field in season 2016/17

LCCA CRICKET: Round one was a case of so close, yet so far, for Lawrence Cricket Club. They came within two runs of knocking off defending premiers Wanderers in what would have been a fairytale start to the 2016/17 Lower Clarence First Grade season.

Instead, after the bowlers set the team up nicely by bowling Wanderers out for just 79, the Lawrence batsmen were dismissed for just 77.

However, opening batsman Brett O'Connor, who top scored with 24, believes the performance means his side can still take some form and momentum into its round two encounter with Maclean United today.

"I thought we had it there and it just got away from with a batting collapse,” O'Connor said.

"Pretty good for the first round, anyway, and definitely good signs for this weekend.

"It shows it's going to be an even comp this year; not just between one or two teams.”

Meanwhile the newlook Iluka outfit - boosted by several Brushgrove recruits - will be out to make it two from two when it takes on Harwood.

Iluka captain Dave Cowan is expecting batting friendly conditions at Harwood Oval.

"I dare say it will be a batsman's paradise,” Cowan said. "It's been fairly dry so I can't see too much assistance for the bowlers.”

"We've just got to make sure we bowl the right lines and take more than 50% of our catches.”

Iluka welcomes back Dean Bartlett, who was their best in 2015/16. The all-rounder was expected to miss much of this season through injury.

"We should be strengthened a bit more with Dean Bartlett coming back from a soccer injury,” Cowan said. "He's been doing a few weights so he can just power them over the boundary. But he won't be bowling.

"Now we're just sweating on Corey Kempshall getting Saturdays off from November. He'll be pretty handy after a couple of season in Premier League.”

Round 2: Maclean Utd v Lawrence at Barry Watts Oval, Harwood v Iluka at Harwood Oval, Wanderers bye.



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