Cricket: Macquarie Hotel and Port City Leagues Magpies captains looking forward to Premier League return

Challenge accepted: Macquarie Hotel captain Josh Hyde expects a challenge from Nulla this weekend. Photo: Ivan Sajko
Challenge accepted: Macquarie Hotel captain Josh Hyde expects a challenge from Nulla this weekend. Photo: Ivan Sajko

MACQUARIE Hotel captain Josh Hyde is confident last weekend’s rest won’t have halted their momentum.

They clash with Nulla on Saturday at Wayne Richards Park after the match with Port City Leagues Magpies was postponed due to the Regional Big Bash in Coffs Harbour.

Hyde expects Nulla to provide arguably their biggest challenge so far this season with a bowling attack spearheaded by Nick Clarke.

Macquarie have had the benefit of net sessions with Brendan Badenoch in previous seasons.

“Nick’s a bit of an unknown, but we hope he bowls well on Saturday because then we know we can get through it,” Hyde said.

The 15-year-old quick will pose plenty of questions for a Macca top order that has shown high levels of consistency.

“I’ve only seen Nick bowl once or twice in the nets and he’s got that pace that can rip sides apart,” Hyde said.

“He’ll probably be the quickest bowler we’ve faced all season so he’s definitely a danger for them.

“He can only bowl eight overs so it’s up to us to get through that spell.”

Along with Clarke, Nulla have the added dangers of Dan Baker and talented spinner Ben Taylor.

Baker and Taylor played alongside Hyde for the Macquarie Coast Stingers.

“Ben’s one of the best spinners in the entire competition,” Hyde said.

The Macquarie captain preferred not to say the match was a danger to his side, instead labelling it a “good challenge”.

“They have a really good core of good players in their side and it’s not a danger game for us, but we are playing one of the better teams in the competition,” he said.

“It will be a good test for us.”

Fraser Carroll will miss the match with Scott Witchard set to take the gloves.

Ricky Arnell comes into the side while Hyde indicated Todd Giddy and Michael Pelley could expect promotions in the batting order.

Hyde hoped the change in pitch on the Wayne Richards Park square wouldn’t change the way the other decks had been playing.

“We’ll be playing on a new wicket which we’ll have a look at and usually there are a few demons first up,” he said.

“I won’t know what to do if we win the toss until Saturday; if it’s overcast it might be a good day to bowl first.”

Meanwhile, Port City Leagues Magpies will play their first Premier League match in three weeks when they host Wingham at Oxley Oval.

Captain Gordon Scott didn’t feel it will have halted any momentum after they had the benefit of dropping players back to second grade.

Jake Hawkins and Jason Herdegen are out of the match due to family commitments with Bryan Smith and Kyle Blanch added to the 12-man squad.

Scott expected Wingham to be led by top-order batsmen Ben Scowen.

“He hasn’t scored many runs so you always think he’s due,” he said.

“We’ll be wary of what he is capable of.”