Lower 'leggie' rolls into toughest representative test
REPRESENTATIVE CRICKET: Emergent Harwood spinner Jacob McMahon has been a part of the Lower Clarence senior representative cricket ranks for the past four years but this Sunday he faces his biggest task up against the Tamworth Old Boys in Country Plate action.
The youngest progeny of Lower Clarence stalwart Tim McMahon has bamboozled his way to the top of the Lower spin ranks this season and up against a side packed full of heavy hitters the young leggy is sure to be tested.
But in true McMahon spirit, the 17-year-old cricketer is not showing any signs of nerves ahead of the clash at Harwood Oval.
"I have heard a bit about their team, I guess they would have to go half all right if they want to play first grade in Tamworth,” McMahon said.
"A lot of the boys have said they are pretty big hitters so I expect they will come out swinging from the first ball.
"It doesn't make me nervous though. Anyone can get beaten on their day.”
Coming off a five wicket haul in a losing effort against Clarence River in North Coast Cricket Council Inter-District action last weekend McMahon will carry that momentum into the clash with Old Boys.
The Tamworth side boasts the cricket prowess of all-rounder Aaron Hazlewood - the older brother of Australian seamer Josh - who enjoys hitting a long ball while also lethal with ball in hand.
McMahon said the Lower Clarence side will be ready for anything Hazelwood and co can throw at them when they combat the Tamworth side as one unit.
"That is the thing about Lower Clarence - we play as a team. Everyone has that team mindset and just want to do all they can for the boys around them.”
Lower Clarence have only made two changes to the team that lost to Clarence River last weekend with Lachlan Johnson and Jarrod Moran making way for an in-form Doug Harris and veteran Darrell Simmons.
McMahon said the return of Simmons to the Lower ranks was a welcome one with the wily veteran one of the first to calm bowlers.
"Darrell is very good to play cricket with, when you bowl you look to him straight away for confidence and advice,” he said. "Lately I have been bowling good balls I just need consistency.”
Lower Clarence captain Luke Many admitted his side had not had a chance to get a good look at their upcoming opponents but that might not be such a bad thing according to the all-rounder.
"We don't know much about them and they don't know much about us,” he said. "I have been checking their form online and they did give Walcha a touch up the other week.
"We just have to hit our areas and do our own thing with the ball. For our blokes with the bat (the unknown) might actually help.”
"They won't know what to anticipate from the bowlers. We need to be playing every ball on its merit.”
Batting was where the Lower Clarence side failed to fire against Clarence River last week with their top order faltering finding themselves at 4-31 when opener Nathan Ensbey was snared.
The inclusion of Simmons will see a change at the top as he slots in next to Ensbey pushing 'Dickie' Ensbey down to his preferred number three role.
Lower Clarence Team
Luke Many (c), Dylan Causley, Daley Durrant, Mark Ensbey, Nathan Ensbey, Doug Harris, Brandon Honeybrook, Corey Kempshall, Ben McMahon, Hayden McMahon, Jacob McMahon, Darrell Simmons.
Country Plate Round 3: Lower Clarence v Tamworth Old Boys at Harwood Oval, Sunday 10am