AN air of mystery surrounds tonight’s KFC Twenty20 Cup match at Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park, not to mention the historic aspect of the occasion.
For the first time in recent memory a club from outside the region will officially contest a Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association (CHDCA) match.
Grafton-based Easts CC will travel south to confront Park Beach Bowling Club Colt’s No 1 squad and the reason is quite simple.
PBBC Colts’ president and middle-order batsman, Neil Coogan, was a long-time Easts official and player and when a bye looked probable in this summer’s mid-week series, he seized the opportunity to promote something different.
“A couple of their players remain from when I was with the club, but to be honest, they are an unknown quantity as far as this particular match is concerned,” he said.
“But whatever the outcome, it’s got people in both cities talking about the KFC Cup which is good news for the game and the sponsors.”
Easts will be captained by schoolteacher, Doug Harris, who only last weekend played alongside four CHDCA representatives for North Coast at the country championships in Tamworth.
“I saw Doug come into first grade when he was just 15 and he’s gone on from there,” Coogan remarked.
“He’s just one of a group of top performers they will bring to town and while we’re looking forward to playing them, there is a bit of mystery about their line-up.”
Colts’ No 2 side caused a major surprise when they downed Diggers Ex-Services No 1 last week and, on paper, tonight’s selected XI is far stronger.
The five established first graders to join Coogan on the field are skipper Matt Rose, Daryl Parmenter, Matt Francis, Andrew Firth and Daniel Harris.
“We expect Daryl to get runs now Movember is finished and he’s shaved off the hoodoo moustache,” the president laughed.
“However, it will be the top grade debut for Andrew Firth this summer and we will use this game to give him a chance to cement form.”
Selectors have gone for two specialist bowlers when choosing the under-16 component.
The only CHDCA player selected for the Bradman Cup after weekend trials, Zac Symonds, has been given a big-stage opportunity, along with junior team-mate, Jack Hartley.
“Zac bowls very quick and we expect him to shake up the Easts batsmen,” Coogan said.
“He has huge potential and will go a long way in his career, while Jack is a medium pacer who is very accurate and if they underestimate him because he’s such a young bloke, don’t be surprised if he is the one to take the breakthrough wicket.”
Play begins at 5.30pm and this week’s target jackpot is $100 for the batsman who can hit the KFC sign.