MACQUARIE Hotel will look for their first win of the season when they clash with Port City Leagues Magpies at Wayne Richards Park on Saturday.
Last year’s grand finalists have had a slow start to the season, losing three of their first four matches – including a 184-run hammering at the hands of Taree United last weekend.
Captain Scott Witchard provided one of the few shining lights, taking 3-36 with the ball, but he is expected to miss the clash.
Club president Michael Pelley admitted it was a different scenario for the team to be in.
“We’ve been the benchmark over the last 10 or so years so it is a bit of a different situation to be in,” he said.
“It’s something where we’ve got to get used to playing a different brand of cricket where everyone contributes.”
Pelley said the loss of Josh Hyde for the season coupled with a “lot of new guys playing positions they’re not used to” had contributed.
“We’ve been lucky over the years where we’ve always had someone who will score an 80-odd or take a five-fa so now it’s about changing our mindset,” he said.
“Pig is a huge loss for us and before him it was Brendan Badenoch, but they’re not there anymore and we need to have people that chip in.”
Before last week’s demoralising loss, Macquarie were also hammered by Wingham by eight wickets after they only managed 91 with the bat.
“The last two weeks in particular we just haven’t found a way in and we’ve simply been blown away,” Pelley said.
“It’s been a tough start to the season.”
The Macquarie season won’t become any easier when they host a Port City side who lost by the barest of margins in their last start.
Port City were unable to break a 23-run final wicket stand that saw Wingham sneak home by a wicket.
“I haven’t played an easy match against them for the last decade so we’re expecting something similar,” Pelley said.
In other matches, one plays two at Chatham Oval with Taree United hosting Port Macquarie Pirates.
Pirates have been the surprise packets early in the season, but will face a step up in opposition in the Ricky Campbell-led United.
Wingham will host Wauchope at Cedar Party Reserve buoyed by that one-wicket win over Magpies last weekend.
Wauchope will fancy their task with with Ben Scowen, Ben Cole and Hayden Essery missing for Wingham although Matt Miller and Darren Bourke are both expected to miss the clash.
RSL will welcome back Bailey Smith from representative duties.
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