Wanderers take momentum on road to Iluka
CRICKET: Wanderers will face an uphill battle as they attempt to earn a berth in an eighth-straight Maclean Bowling Club first grade decider.
The Lower Clarence Cricket Association juggernaut will be missing its two opening seamers and leading run scorer as the side heads to Iluka for the preliminary final.
Simon Harrison, Adrian Boyd and Tom Martin will all be out for the do-or-die clash, but captain Tye Bannerman believes it might even play into the club's hands.
"We might be missing our two best bowlers, but I actually think slow bowling is the way to go against Iluka,” he said.
"Their top order enjoy having the ball come onto the bat and if we can stop that happening we might be able to get away with the result.”
Wanderers will come off the side's performance of the season in the minor semi-final with Dan Galloway steering them home with an unbeaten half-century.
It had been a conservative approach to the run chase, with the Wanderers side 0-80 at the 20-over drinks break.
"We just wanted to bat out our overs, too often this season we have lost by short margins after we were bowled out around the 20-over mark,” Bannerman said. "We really tried to change that and take a more conservative approach to the innings last week and it worked perfectly.”
Bannerman said the approach would be the same this weekend against a strong Iluka bowling outfit which features Dean Bartlett, Corey Kempshall and Ken Richards.
Iluka will have the home-field advantage with the game at Ken Leeson Oval, a ground they have only been beaten at twice this season, both times by Maclean United.
But Wanderers have also enjoyed their fair share of success at the venue this season, and Bannerman said they hoped to maintain the run of success.
"The last few years we have played a heap out at Iluka and we really don't mind making the drive out there,” he said.
One man who might feel the nerves on the long drive out to the ground will be Brad Gorman, with the dedicated third grader getting a call up to replace Martin in the side.
Gorman has only played four games in the Maclean Bowling Club third grade competition this season with 88 runs at an average of 44.
"He has scored a lot of runs for our third grade side over the years and he deserves to get this opportunity,” he said.
"He doesn't worry too much about the pressure, he just enjoys going out there and bombing up. He was born for this.”
The winner will meet Maclean United in the grand final.