SEMIS TIME: Easts all-rounder Doug Harris has proven to be a matchwinner for the club this season.Photo: Debrah Novak
SEMIS TIME: Easts all-rounder Doug Harris has proven to be a matchwinner for the club this season.Photo: Debrah Novak

Wet weather sees semis shifted to Yamba Oval

IT WILL be all or nothing when Harwood Hilton hosts GDSC Easts at the unfamiliar Yamba Oval today.

The minor semi-final was initally set down for Harwood Oval but wet weather has made the ground unplayable.

The move to Yamba may benefit Harwood more than its counterpart, as Easts captain Tim Whalan revealed he had not played at the ground for years.

"I think I remember playing there before but it would have been when I was a junior," Whalan said.

"It does not really matter where the game is played because we still have to win.

"But it has been quite a while."

If the unfamiliar ground wasn't enough for the club to overcome, the rules surrounding the finals series have forced a personnel change.

It comes hot on the heels of the departure of openers Mitch Eggins and Chris Pierse, with Whalan promoting himself to open.

"I have opened the batting in the past, so I am pretty confident we can get the job done," Whalan said.

"Everyone has to concentrate on batting, as it has been our weak point.

"Batting is the key - we have to bat well and bat out our overs."

Harwood captain Tim McMahon was confident the change in ground would not affect his teams chances.

He said Harwood Oval, the preferred ground for the encounter, was in no condition to host any type of game, let alone the elimination final.

"Yamba Oval is a great pitch and Turk (Peter Urquhart) has been preparing it all week," McMahon said.

"We will be looking for Matt Young to really step up this week.

"I think he will be the man for the conditions and the player best suited to make an impact."

It will not be easy going for the Lower Clarence team, who has been unable to train due to the weather.

For McMahon the game plan was simple: bat out the overs and knock over early wickets.

"We generally prefer to bat first but it will depend on the condition of the ground," McMahon said.

"It would have been good to be able to prepare but we will give it a fair go anyway."

Tucabia all-rounder Chris Adamson said Harwood would probably start favourite, noting its ability to bat out its overs.

"Harwood love finals cricket, so they will be hard to beat," Adamson said.

"They like to bat out their overs, regardless of how many there are and how quickly they score them.

"Scoring at two or three an over would not faze them at all - if they batted the overs out, they would have 300 there."

The winner will go on to play the loser of the major semi-final, while it will mark the final game for the losing team. The match will start today at 12.30pm and continue at 10am tomorrow.



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