Scrap for finals places

WINS are important to the top five teams as the Hastings River District Cricket Association enters its last round tomorrow.

Macquarie Hotel sits safely in first place, but wants some momentum heading into the finals.

For second, third, fourth and fifth, a loss could potentially mean a slide down a very slippery slope and out of the finals.

Wauchope RSL captain Mark Fog wanted just one outcome out of the match against Port City Leagues Magpies.

“We’ve got to win,” he said.

Working in Fog’s favour is the balance of the team. It’s the most balanced Wauchope has been all year.

“It’s the same 12 as last week,” Fog said.

He’s happy with his bowling attack, but Fog wants more from his batsmen this week. They’ve misfired a bit throughout the season.

But Matt Miller got some runs in the Beechwood Sevens last Sunday, giving him much-needed confidence – so Fog hoped – for this weekend’s match.

“He started off the season strongly,” Fog said.

“But then we brought him up the order a bit.”

He’s upped his concentration levels since then, and might be due for a big score.

Fog will move Blake Larance up to number five tomorrow. He hopes the youngster can team up with his father, Heath, and put some runs on.

Fog is at least happy with his bowling outfit.

“I rate our bowling right up there,” he said.

“We’ve just got to bowl like we have been.”

Macquarie Hotel faces a Pirates team that’s on the charge ahead of the pointy end of the season.

Macca skipper Michael Pelley wasn’t confident of getting on for a game, though.

“You might have to be a duck to play this weekend,” he said.

He expects Sam Ward to come back in this week. Pelley said Ben Cutler might also return from a hamstring injury.

“We’re hopeful he’ll be right,” Pelley said.

He suffered the injury three weeks ago. Doctors said he would be off for three weeks.

“We’re at about that mark now,” Pelley said.

He knew Pirates would be dangerous.

“They have plenty to play for,” he said.

“We’re quite happy to be out of that [the scrap for finals


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