Cricket final to be a classic
TWINS, a key wicket, nerves, other commitments and a cunning plan.
Today’s Lower Clarence Cricket Association First Grade preliminary final between Warriors and United has all the ingredients of a cricketing classic.
Both teams say they are confident ahead of the Barry Watts Oval clash, but there is a lot that can happen before the champagne corks pop.
Last weekend United was forced to fend off the challenge of Iluka with just 10 men when Matt Ardrey’s wife, expecting twins, was thought to have gone into labour.
The Warriors, meanwhile, were missing four of their key players, who chose a music festival over their team duties.
“That was pretty ordinary,” United skipper Luke Many said.
“You would think the cricket finals come first.”
Both teams are at full strength today, with the victor to meet Yamba in next Saturday’s First Grade decider.
“We are always confident. If you’re not you may as well go home,” Many said.
“Getting (Warriors opener) Brett O’Connor early is the key.
“They have got a really strong top order. We have just got to keep the ball up to them.”
Adding another dimension to the clash is the fact some Warriors players will be eyeing an early finish to allow a trip to the Maclean Showground to be involved with the Lower Clarence Magpies’ rugby league trial.
But team captain Aidan Daniels said he was not putting the cart before the horse.
“We have to score runs first,” he said.
“Brett and Ryan (Binge) have scored a lot of runs at the top but our middle order hasn’t really fired.
“We need to get that sorted.”
But Many is planning on keeping the batting confidence of his rivals down.
“We have got a plan. We have got something up our sleeve,” he said, but refused to explain in more detail.
Many suggested nerves would be at play but both teams will overcome them by the 1pm start.