Taree West readies for 'mystery' opponent

Veteran Taree West all-rounder Paul Cox.

Veteran Taree West all-rounder Paul Cox.

TAREE West captain Josh Meldrum has described tomorrow’s Mid North Coast Premier League cricket clash against Port City as a ‘mystery game.’

He explained that rain washed out the opening round encounter between the two sides at the Johnny Martin Oval.

Port City were 4/40 when play was abandoned. So Meldrum reasons it’s hard to get a form guide on what to expect tomorrow at Oxley Oval.

“We were pretty well placed when the rain started, but it was still early in the game,’’ Meldrum said.

Both sides have experienced similar campaigns. Port City sits in fifth spot on 41 points along with Kempsey club Rovers. Taree West is seventh, on 40.

Taree West go into the match on the back of successive wins over United and Macquarie to open 2018.

Meldrum was concerned the general bye last week would upset his side’s winning momentum.  

“But we had a good training run last week so hopefully we’ll be right,’’ he said.

Taree West will be without key bowlers Matt Wesley and Shane Manney. Meldrum said that Wesley may not be available again this campaign because of work and university commitments.

Manney has impressed this season after switching to Taree West from Wingham.

However, the West will again look to front line bowler Ryan Williams to lead the attack with support from Jonathon Paff. Veteran Paul Cox mixed medium pace with off-spin in Taree West’s last match and he will also play an important role. 

Meldrum said his side’s attitude is positive and they’ll be going into the clash at Oxley Oval keen to maintain their winning run.

“Attitude is a big thing,’’ he said.

He added his side’s improved catching was a major factor in their last two performances and he hopes this trend continues tomorrow.

“It’s such a tight competition – just one win or a loss could be the difference between making the semi-finals or missing out,’’ Meldrum said.

Meanwhile at Andrews Park Wauchope the two sides at the foot of the ladder will meet.

Port Pirates had their first win of the season in the May Kelly Cup, a T20 competition played on the Hastings on the way to qualifying for the final. Here they lost to Macquarie by six wickets in the final played on Australia Day.

Wauchope were among the pacesetters in the early part of the premier league season but have fallen away and badly need a positive result to keep their top four aspirations in place.