Brothers player Troy McLaren takes a run last week.
Brothers player Troy McLaren takes a run last week.

Westlawn seeks batting revival

WESTLAWN veteran spin bowler Tony Blanch is under no illusions that his side needs to improve their batting if they are any chance of taking out this season’s Premier League Cricket competition.

Westlawn are sitting pretty atop of the table, three points clear of their nearest rivals Harwood. Blanch said for Westlawn to remain on top they need to address an important issue – their batting.

“We need to sit down and analyse the way we go about our batting,” Blanch said.

“We need to put together partnerships and ‘blend’ as a team. We lose one wicket and all of a sudden we lose four or five – we capitulate very quickly.”

Blanch subscribes to the belief that their top-order batsmen need to consolidate to enable a late-innings assault in the final overs.

“Charlie (Daniel Amos) and Brendan Purser have to try and bat through an innings, they certainly have the skill to do that,” Blanch said.

“If one of them can stay at the crease it lets the likes of Jason Rainbow and ‘Nutsy’ (Brad Inmon) play their natural game, which is attack.”

Blanch said the Ellem Oval wicket should be ideal for their 40-over aside match against South Services today and believes a score of around 200 should be well within reach.

Westlawn’s opening bowling attack is considered one of the best in the competition spearheaded by Rohan Hackett and Matt Lobsey. Hackett has been disappointing this season but he has the ability to tear through opposition batting line-ups.

“Rohan is definitely quick but he needs to bowl with more consistency,” Blanch said. “He slants the ball across the batsmen but just needs to bowl a better line and length ...

he tries to bowl too quick at times.”

Blanch singled out South’s Brett Woods as an obvious danger with the bat and Jason Thompson and Zac Page their main concern with the new ball.

At Iluka, Harwood should have little trouble accounting for Easts who now need a minor miracle to feature in the final series.

Harwood are placed second on the table, a mere 0.35 points ahead of Tucabia White so it is a must win for Harwood, according to their captain Tim McMahon.

“We need to keep in contact with the leaders, we won’t be taking Easts lightly,” McMahon said.

“They have a couple of good bats in Doug Harris and Matt Hartmann and if they can build partnerships around those two we could be chasing a decent score.”

Last time the two sides met Harwood got away with the win by a whisker.

“It was a close game last time, it went down to the final delivery of the match,” Easts captain Doug Harris said.

Harris said his side is looking forward to the challenge and hoping for an improved performance from recent weeks.

“We hope to produce a better all-round performance although it won’t be easy as there have been some wholesale changes to the side. We have lost Nick Ada and Damien Cameron but have included Matt Hartmann who will strengthen the batting,” Harris said.

Meanwhile at Ulmarra, Tucabia White will be looking to make amends for last week’s loss to Tucabia Blue when they take on a Brothers’ side minus Brad Robertson, who is still on representative duty.

Brothers are nine points out of the four and need to continue on their winning way if they hope to snare a semi-final spot. The absence of Robertson will make their task all that more difficult against a Tucabia side oozing talent

Tucabia captain Chris Adamson said that although losing Robertson for the match, Brothers have a more than capable replacement in stand-in captain Mick Summers.

“Mick is a very capable cricketer; he is handy with both bat and ball. He bowls some useful outswingers, he should bowl more often,” he said.

“Their opening bowler Brett Paxton has been among the wickets this season and if he is ‘on song’ he is a fair chance of rattling our top-order.

“We need to reverse our form from last week ... which comes down to our top-order getting runs.”

Tucabia Blue remains in fourth position on the ladder and a win against Coutts at McKittrick Park will go a long way to cementing a semi-final berth. Coutts will be bolstered by the return of Brad Chard and Lewis Chevalley, who were part of the victorious North Coast Bradman Cup side.

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