Rookie out, veteran in doubt

WINGHAM is without one promising junior and has a veteran in doubt for this weekend's Manning first grade cricket final against Old Bar at Old Bar.

Ryan Morris broke his ankle playing school football earlier this week and won't play cricket again this season while Wayne Smoothy is troubled by a knee injury. Skipper Adam Carney retired hurt after splitting his eyebrow while batting in the minor semi against Taree West last week but assured he'll be fit for the weekend.

Carney was waiting on word from Smoothy yesterday before deciding his starting XI. Wingham's second grade won last week and isn't involved in the final so he has some options.

"I'll probably see if Matt Essery is available then whoever else I can call on if needed,'' he said.

Wingham moved through to the final with a comfortable win over Taree West in the minor semi. Carney described it as a good all-round effort.

"It was a game we were expected to win so complacency could have been an issue,'' Carney added.

"But we got stuck in and got the job done.''

Carney pointed out that his side has played some good cricket in the later part of the season.

"I think we're hitting form at the right time,'' he said.

"We're bowling well as a unit and showing patience to build an innings when we're batting.''

However, Carney admits the Trad Field at Old Bar is something of an unknown proposition.

"This is the first time we've played there in two years,'' he said.

"And I'd hate to think the game would be decided by a dodgy pitch.''

He'll have a close look at the pitch tomorrow but even so he favours batting first.

"I think getting runs on the board is the way to go in a final,'' he said.

Wingham will also be disadvantaged should wet weather intervene over the weekend.

Carney expects to have brothers Ryan and Daine Williams available for both days and they'll lead the attack. Daine also had a good day with the bat, clubbing 55 as an opener against Taree West.

Carney added that with Jonathon Craig-Dobson, Brad Staff and Mick Stinson he has plenty of options with the ball. Staff had a great game in the minor semi, taking 5/37 and then scoring 41.

However Carney is mindful that Old Bar has a formidable lineup, particularly in the batting department. While Michael Rees is the prize wicket Carney pointed out that there's plenty of other batsmen who can score runs.

Play will start at 1pm tomorrow.

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