THEY have plenty of work to do, but Taree West can still make the Mid North Coast Premier League cricket semi-finals.
Newly re-appointed captain Josh Meldrum said this after the West recorded their first win for the season when upsetting Wauchope in the match at Johnny Martin Oval.
Meldrum, who led the team last season, was handed the leadership again when Ryan Williams stood down. Williams will remain with the side.
“Ryan has a lot of things going on away from cricket, so he decided to stand down,’’ Meldrum explained.
The West were anchored in last place going into the encounter. However, Meldrum said the side has struggled to get their best XI on the field this season and that’s been the main reason for the disappointing results.
“We finally had everyone there last weekend,’’ Meldrum said.
“That made a huge difference.’’
He quickly reverted to captain-speak when assessing his side’s chances of clawing their way into the top four.
“We’ll take it one game at a time,’’ Meldrum said.
“Counting last week we had three games to go before the Christmas break. We’ve beaten Wauchope and we head to Kempsey this week to play Nulla before finishing against Wingham.
“If we can win at least one of the two games before Christmas than I think we’re a still a chance of making the four.’’
However, Meldrum agreed the West can’t afford too many stumbles from here if they are going to be still around when it counts. Taree West has moved out of last place and are now up to seventh on the ladder with 19 points. They are still 11 points shy of fourth placed Port City.
This Saturday’s opponents, Nulla, are sixth and Meldrum said it is vital his side follow up the win over Wauchope with another strong display. This will be Taree West’s first trip to Kempsey this season.
The competition will go into T20 mode in January, with the competition-proper resuming on Saturday February 2.
Meldrum paid tribute to his bowlers in the win over Wauchope. The Hastings combination went into the clash in third place but have now slipped to fifth.
“We only made 122 but it was a really heavy outfield so that was really like 160,’’ he said.
“Shany Manny then bowled incredibly and Brendan Mays had plenty of fire in his belly.’’
Taree West restricted Wauchope to 77.