Missing openers could cause havoc in LCCA major semi
LCCA CRICKET: It is shaping up to be a tough test in the middle with both Maclean United and Wanderers missing their regular opening bats for today's Maclean Bowling Club First Grade major semi-final.
Wanderers will promote first drop Alex Robison to the top of the order after heavy hitter Joel Peterie was ruled out of the clash with a knee injury while United will be at a loss with Mick Woodward suspended.
Woodward is serving a one- match ban for dissent at an official stemming from an incident during Maclean's clash with Iluka a fortnight ago. The hearing was held this week, with the opener allowed to return next week.
Despite the last minute shuffle of both line-ups, neither captain is taking a backward step heading into the second-chance semi.
Maclean United is coming off a tough run of form in the back end of the season with the side not registering a win since the first round back after the festive period.
Despite having form on the board against their top of the table counterparts (two wins, one loss), captain Jarrad Moran said it does not weigh into the equation.
"You can beat them as many times as you want this year but I think any of the teams in the top four can take it out.”
Moran said bowling had been a facet where United had come up short in recent weeks, but it was something his players were working on.
"The boys know where they have been going wrong and they know what they need to do to fix it,” he said.
It is an exciting time for the United captain with the side having the cushion of a major semi-final reprieve for the first time in a few years.
The Wanderers have had a stranglehold on the major semi-final in recent years, and according to captain Peterie, it will just be business as usual for the Lower Clarence behemoths.
All-rounder Brandon "Bear” Honeybrook has been in scintillating form this year, hitting runs at an average well above 50.
Peterie picked him out as a potential game breaker for the Wanderers outfit and said his increased fitness this season was the reason behind his impressive form.
"I think because of the fitness he is able to play those longer stretches without getting knocked up,” he said. "We will need that (today). Our top six bats really need to chew up 30-odd overs so we hit a big total.”
Meanwhile at Harwood Cricket Ground, in do-or-die semi final action Iluka will be hoping to keep up its recent run of form when the side plays Harwood.