Wingham calls on Essery

VETERAN Matt Essery is likely to be called into Wingham's first grade side for tomorrow's clash of the round against Old Bar at Cedar Party Reserve.

Essery, who has been captaining the club's B-grade team, looks set to replace Brad Staff, who is out for a month after undergoing surgery on his hand.

"It'll be a straight swap - 'Ez' can bowl a bit of spin and he's a great bat as well,'' Wingham captain Adam Carney said.

Staff was the most successful bowler in Manning first grade cricket in the pre-Christmas stage and has 17 wickets to his credit.

Wingham will also be without opening bowler Ryan Williams tomorrow as he has work commitments. Williams has worked up plenty of pace during his outings this season, however, his unavailability tomorrow won't change Carney's decision should he win the toss.

"Cedar Party's been a road this year. We'll bat first if I win the toss,'' he said.

Wingham produced their most complete performance of the year in the last round, cracking a hefty 320 before bowling Taree West out for 139. However, some stubborn resistance from Taree West's batsmen in the second innings denied Wingham the outright.

Carney admits those extra points for the outright could have been handy as Wingham pushes for a place in the top two.

"If we play to our potential we should finish in the top two,'' he said.

"But it doesn't always work out like that.''

He said games against Old Bar are always a challenge that Wingham enjoys, even if Old Bar's star batsman Michael Rees won't be playing because of representative commitments in New Zealand.

"Even when he's not there someone else always seems to step up,'' Carney said.

"It should be a good game.''