Veteran recalled to lead Harwood innings
HARWOOD V BROTHERS: While most of the pre-match discussion revolved around Brothers not fielding an full strength line-up for their final round, minor-premiership battle against Harwood, the team from the Lower Clarence was also without a host of stars.
Missing three of its top six batsmen in Mark Ensbey, Daley Durrant and Lachie Johnson, Harwood was forced to call upon the experience of Lower Clarence Cricket Association second-highest run-scorer Geoff Simmons.
And the former Harwood Premier League regular did not disappoint, lighting up McKittrick Park with seven boundaries on his way to 51 at the top of the innings.
"Sizzling Simmons gave us some good firepower at the top of the order," Harwood captain Nathan Ensbey said.
"It was a reasonably patient innings but when he gets the ball in the spot he normally puts it to the fence," Ensbey said.
Ensbey fell early in the innings in single figures for the first time this season, and was impressed with the rest of his batsmen who weathered the torrent of pinpoint line and length bowling from Brothers.
Harwood made starts the whole way down the order including Doug Harris (35), Ben McMahon (36), Hayden McMahon (33) and Matt Young (25) to bat out the 80 overs to post a strong total of 8-247.
"It was a really good effort from the boys," Ensbey said.
"The pitch was a bit two-paced and their bowlers really didn't give us a lot to work with all afternoon.
"We just had to play the patience game and take the opportunities when they came."
Troy McLaren proved the best of the bowling attack, tightening the screws on Harwood as he took 3 for 51 off 22 overs.
The nuptials of seamer Billy Weatherstone is expected to drag most of the Brothers' roster off the field next week, but Ensbey said he still expected them to turn up for a fight with the minor premiership on the line.
"I'm not reading too much into it, I think they will all show up, this is a big game," he said.
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BROTHERS V HARWOOD
At McKittrick Park
Umpires: Jeff Hackett, Jeffrey Thompson
Harwood 1st Innings
GJ Simmons c Kerr b Weatherstone 51
N Ensbey lbw b Summers 2
D Harris st Kerr b McLaren 35
BG McMahon c Jurd b McLaren 36
HJ McMahon c Howard b McLaren 33
MN Young run out (MJ Summers) 25
MJ Farrell c Kerr b Weatherstone 14
L Many c Summers b Jurd 10
JT McMahon not out 15
M Vallette not out 5
Extras (b 6, lb 5, w 4, nb 6) 21
EIGHT wickets for 247
FoW: 1-14(N Ensbey) 2-89(GJ Simmons) 3-93(D Harris) 4-165(BG McMahon) 5-173(HJ McMahon) 6-200(MJ Farrell) 7-222(L Many) 8-222(MN Young)
Bowling: JS Weatherstone 18-2-61-2, MJ Summers 11-0-38-1, J Kroehnert 14-3-42-1, BJ Weatherstone 9-1-24-0, T McLaren 22-5-51-3, AJ Kinnane 1-0-8-0, D Hartz 4-0-11-0, BL Jurd 1-0-1-1.