Premier League leaders turn to lower grade brigade
CRICKET: While it shapes up as a David and Goliath battle based on the GDSC Premier League ladder, a slew of missing players for Brothers Clocktower Hotel has opened the door for Tucabia-Copmanhurst Phil Lloyd Earthmoving.
The standard-bearers of the Clarence River Cricket Association's top flight will be without their most-experienced trio in captain Jake Kroehnert, Jamie Firth and Jack Weatherstone at Ellem Oval.
But their omission opens the door for the club's lower grade stars and future prospects to make their case for selection later in the season.
Experienced middle-order batsman Jarrod Lynch will step up into a leadership role alongside quick Billy Weatherstone as they attempt to continue the side's undefeated run into the second half of the season.
"We are certainly understrength going into this clash, but that does not mean we should be written off,” Lynch said. "Not having our captain there will be tough for the side, it almost feels like we are a brand new team heading into the new year, but that is not the case.
"We still have two of our best performing players in Billy and Kallen (Lawrence) in the side, and we are confident the younger blokes can come into the side and do the job for us.”
It will also be a rare opportunity for the top side to get a chance to play on the association's premier surface before the field at Ellem Oval gets impending upgrades.
After enjoying a win against Easts in their only other outing on the surface, Lynch said his side is looking forward to returning to the field.
"It is a great ground, and while I (didn't get a long time out at the middle) it seemed like it was playing well,” he said.
"We didn't bowl Easts out on the wicket, so that should say something about how good it was to bat on.”
In other Premier League action this weekend, a resurgent Coutts Crossing will face off against Tucabia-Copmanhurst GI Hotel in a battle of the top four at Ulmarra Showground.
While Westlawn Jacaranda Hotel will aim to maintain momentum from their win last month against South Services at Lower Fisher.