TAREE West captain Josh Meldrum hopes a return to the side’s home base at the Johnny Martin Oval will help resurrect their fortunes in the McDonalds Mid North Coast Premier League.
The West meet Wauchope RSL on Saturday at the Martin Oval. They’re coming off two disappointing losses and Meldrum said tomorrow’s game will be of crucial importance.
He pointed out Taree West haven’t seen much of their headquarters this season.
“We had the game that was washed out and the one against Wingham that ended early,’’ he said.
Batsmen from both sides struggled on that occasion and batting has continued to be a problem area for Taree West since.
Meldrum said his side will be close to full strength with the return of Jonathon Paff, who has done a commendable job with the ball this season. He’ll opening the bowling with Ryan Williams, who will again play despite a hand injury.
However, as was the case last week, Williams won’t bat.
“He’s hoping to be fully fit for the first game back after the break,’’ Meldrum explained.
He is unsure if Dean Mills will be right. Mills was expected to play last weekend but had teeth removed on Friday.
“I've head Dean said he’ll be playing, but I haven’t spoken to him yet,’’ Meldrum explained.
Taree West currently sits in seventh place on 18 points. Macquarie (36), Port City (31), United and Wingham (26), Wauchope (24) and Nulla (24) are all in front of them.
Taree West will have two matches and a bye before the competition breaks for Christmas/New Year. Meldrum said it isn't panic stations yet and a win tomorrow would go along way to boosting the side’s confidence.
He added that matches in January when the competition resumes can be a bit of a lottery with all sides usually having players away.
“That can work either way, depending on who is available,’’ he pointed out.
“But it’s better to have a few points on the board going into January.’’
The West have had problems with the bat in the last couple of games but Meldrum said he will have no hesitation in batting first if he wins the toss.
There will be only one other premier league game played this weekend, with Rovers to be at home to Port Panthers at Kempsey Golf Club.
Nulla will have the bye.
The United/Wingham and Macquarie/Port City games have been postponed to January because of the Regional Big Bash round being played at Coffs Harbour.