'Simmons the key to rep success'
LOWER Clarence batsman Geoff Simmons holds the key to his team’s chances of victory against the depleted Clarence River Cricket Association (CRCA) on Sunday in round 2 of the North Coast Inter-District Competition.
Lower Clarence captain Matt Ardrey is looking for a repeat performance from his premier batsman, who blasted 150 against Lismore in round 1 of the SCG Cup.
“Geoff is certainly the key to our batting, and hopefully he can get us off to a solid start and set the platform,” Ardrey said.
Ardrey is confident his Lower Clarence side has the right mix to upset their more-fancied opponents.
“It’s probably the strongest side we have put together in a few years. We bat down to nine or 10 and... there is plenty of variety in our bowling,” he said.
Lower’s odds of winning shortened during the week with the withdrawal of key players from their rivals.
Rohan Hackett, Brendan Purser and Brad Robertson are on duty with the North Coast under-21 side and the absence of Matt Kroehnert will leave a batting hole.
But newly appointed Clarence River captain Doug Harris is confident.
“Unfortunately we have lost a few players, but it is a great opportunity for some of the new faces,” Harris said.
“They might perform well and make it hard for other players to regain their spots.”
Clarence River has ‘had the wood’ on Lower in previous encounters but with a new-look River side, it will be a test of depth.
“We’ve had the better of them the last few times. Looking at the side they’ve picked it will be a real challenge,” Harris said
“It’s important for us to do the little things right and for the senior players to lead.”
The form of Coutts Crossing spearhead Brad Chard, who will be ‘a good asset’, is good news for Harris.
The match will be played at Yamba Oval with the Second XI game at Harwood.Clarence River
Clarence River Cricket Association First XI – Doug Harris (c), Nick Ada, Brett Woods, Tom Cootes, Chris Adamson, Rod Mitchell, Matt Blanch, Jason Rainbow, Ryan Lynch, Brad Chard, Andrew Lancaster, Matt Pigg.
Clarence River Second XI – Brad McLaren (c), Tom Kroehnert, Troy McLaren, Luke Chard, Brendan Hardy, Nathan Dougherty, Aiden O’Brien, Brett Paxton, Matt Dougherty, Jarrod Lynch, Daniel Cootes, Adam Spies.Lower Clarence
Lower Clarence First XI – Matt Ardrey (c), Geoff Simmons, Alex Davidson, Nathan Ensbey, Darryl Simmons, Luke Many, Aaron Jones, Brad Bending, Mark Vallette, Matt Young, Nathan Essex.
Lower Clarence Second XI - unavailable