MATT Wesley turned in a match-winning allround performance for Taree West in the clash against United last weekend, but he’ll be one of three absentees for Saturday’s McDonalds Mid North Coast Cricket Premier League clash against Macquarie at Johnny Martin Oval.
Wesley took three wicket and then smashed 49 as Taree West accounted for United by six wickets to get their season back on track. However, he’ll miss the game against the competition leaders, along with opening bowler Shane Manny and batsman Blake Polson.
"They’re all unavailable – not injured, so we’ll get them back next match,’’ Taree West skipper Josh Meldrum said.
Veteran allrounder Paul Cox returns after missing last week while Matt Garland has been added to the XI. Meldrum said he’ll also have to find another bowler.
This will be Macquarie’s first game for 2018 after they had the bye last week.
“Hopefully they’ll be a bit rusty,’’ Meldrum said.
Meldrum added the Port Macquarie combination are strong over the park, with a solid core of batsmen and a penetrative bowling attack.
“That’s why they’re leading the competition,’’ he reasoned.
He said Taree West took plenty of confidence out of the performance against United. While they still sit in eight spot the West are only five shy of fourth. However, a loss won’t mean the end of the season, Meldrum added.
Two crucial games for United
CEMENTING a top four berth will be the immediate task for Wingham in McDonalds Mid North Coast Premier League cricket.
Five successive wins has resulted in Wingham shooting to second spot on the ladder, two points off leaders Macquarie with a four point gap to third placed Nulla.
Wingham will sit tomorrow out with the bye but meet the struggling United in a deferred game on Sunday at Cedar Party Reserve.
Skipper Ben Scowen admits the prospect of finishing minor premier is tantalising.
“It would be great to secure a home finals game,’’ he said.
However, given the closely bunched ladder Scowen pointed out that a couple of losses could have the side battling to stay in the four. Wingham go into Sunday's clash fresh from a comprehensive win over Wauchope RSL last week, set up by the bowlers when they dismissed the home side for just 83. Brock Hynes led the run chase with a hard hitting 37.
Scowen said Wingham will be close to full strength for Sunday. He added United will ‘definitely’ bat first if he gets it right at the toss.