Wingham aims for three titles

WINGHAM will be aiming for a hat-trick of Manning cricket premierships tomorrow in the first grade grand final against United at Chatham Park.

The game was postponed from last weekend because of wet weather.

However, the minor grade grand finals have all been decided, with Wingham taking out the second grade and fourth grade titles.

Wingham captain Adam Carney doesn't expect to have strike bowlers Ryan and Daine Williams available for this weekend's game.

As was the case last weekend when the match was originally scheduled, the brothers will be away working.

"Daine is still away and as far as I know Ryan won't be here either,'' Carney said.

Carney will now look to young quick Jonathon Craig-Dobson to lead the attack with assistance from veteran all-rounders Mick Stinson and Brad Staff.

"Jonathon's really going to have to bowl well,'' Carney said.

Craig-Dobson and Staff have both enjoyed fruitful seasons. Staff has 33 wickets and Craig-Dobson 24.

Wingham has played more cricket than United in the past month. However, Carney doesn't believe this will be a factor in his side's favour.

"I hope they're as rusty as hell,'' he laughed.

"But they would have been training hard and I don't think that's going to make much difference.

Wingham look sure to retain second grade captain Matt Essery in the team. Essery is in good touch and scored a match defining 70 in his side's win over Taree West in the grand final.

"Matt's hitting the ball beautifully,'' Carney said.

However, Carney said there's pressure on all the batsmen to fire this weekend, especially with the attack now depleted without the Williams brothers.

United finished minor premiers and will be advantaged if there's rain interruptions this weekend.

"It's good to see some blue sky now,'' Carney said.

"I was a bit worried earlier in the week.''

He was toying with the idea of bowling first had the game gone ahead last weekend. However, it looks certain he'll shelve those plans if he wins the toss given the improved weather conditions.

"I think it will play like a typical Chatham Park wicket,'' Carney said.

"So I'll be looking to bat first.''

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