Premier League cricket finals format decided

IT’LL be first against fourth and second playing third in the semi-finals of the McDonalds Mid North Coast Premier League on Saturday March 17.

Winners will then advance to the grand final to be played at Wayne Richards Park at Port Macquarie on Saturday March 24. The decider will be played at Port Macquarie, regardless of the sides involved.

MNC Cricket Council chairman Gordon Cross said Wayne Richards Park was the choice of the premier league captains at a meeting held this week.

“It has the best facilities of any ground in the area and the captains believe this should be the place to showcase our grand final,’’ Mr Cross said.

With two matches remaining in the season-proper it appears Macquarie Hotel from Port Macquarie will finish minor premier while Wingham should run second. United will probably be third while Nulla from Kempsey or Taree West would be favoured to be the fourth side involved. However, seven teams are still a mathematical chance of making the four.

“We’re in for a photo finish,’’ Mr Cross said.

Mr Cross explained the team finishing higher on the competition ladder will be awarded the premiership if the grand final is washed out. He said with Easter falling the following week, there’s no other time to play the game.

“That happened when we had to change our draw because of the washout in the Regional Big Bash earlier in the season,’’ he further explained.

Mr Cross added winners of the batting and bowling aggregate and average awards will be recognised at the conclusion of the grand final.

Nine sides have contested the inaugural premier league that takes in clubs from the Manning to Kempsey. Mr Cross confirmed there will be a review of the competition during the off-season but said the majority of feedback he has received has been positive.

United pitch in for McGrath Foundation

FOR the eighth successive year United Cricket Club will conduct a Pink Stumps Day fundraiser for the McGrath Foundation at the Wingham Bowling Club.

This club has raised more than $47,000 for the foundation. An auction will be held tomorrow night at the bowling club from 7.30.

Some of the items to go under the hammer include a Peter Hanscomb signed Kookaburra cricket bat in a display case; 2004/2005 Victorian Bushranger team bat in a wooden display case; tool kits, various work from local artists, hand made limited edition numbered prints including Viv Richards, Doug Walters, Ian Chappell, Ian Healy, Sir Garfield Sobers, Mark Waugh and Sir Donald Bradman. All prints are framed and have certificates of Authenticity.