City looking to secure Armidale one-day finals berth

Momentum: Kyle Taylor and his City side will be looking to maintain their unbeaten record and lock in a one-day finals spot when they play Easts on Saturday.
Momentum: Kyle Taylor and his City side will be looking to maintain their unbeaten record and lock in a one-day finals spot when they play Easts on Saturday.

He’s seen them over the line their last two games but Clarrie Moran will be a notable absentee for Easts for their clash against unbeaten City on Saturday.

Moran and Dean Moore are both out leaving Easts without two of their top four, and best batsmen.

It’s not an ideal scenario against what Easts skipper Sam Uphill regards as a good bowling side, but with second grade travelling well he has faith their replacements can do the job – whoever they may be.

He noted Ben Orman has been scoring a lot of runs in second grade. 

Justin Hickey is another option to come up. He had a bit of a lean start to the season but has scored 60 and 67 his last two knocks.

“Second grade keeper Dean Waters will be looked at too. We need a keeper with Dean Moore out,” Uphill said.

The two sides are yet to meet this season with their earlier fixture a wash-out but Uphill is well aware of the challenge in front of them, and highlighting their bowling as City’s strength, stressed that his side are going to have to bat well.

Explaining what makes the City attack so dangerous Uphill, who is fresh from his best performance with the ball for a couple of seasons, said they have got genuine wickettakers.

“Anyone that comes on can bowl that unplayable ball,” he said.

Successive wins has Easts’ confidence high, although their nature is always to be fairly confident.

“We’ve got a fairly decent side,” Uphill said.

And one that he feels is getting better as a side.

”It will be interesting to see what happens in terms of the one-day final,” he said.

“Losing those two early games might come back to hurt us.”

They are a “tight third” at the moment with Saturday and one more round to go.

City have the bye in the final round but can sew up a spot in the final with a win on Saturday. Conversely a loss will mean a nervous wait with other results coming in to play.

Skipper Kyle Taylor said there is a lot of confidence around the group at the moment but also acknowledged that their opposition is “in a bit of form at the moment”.

“They’ve got a really strong batting and bowling line-up. Looking down the order it is hard to find a weakness,” he said.

“A big plus for us is we get a lot of fellas back.

“Michael Allen is back, which will strengthen our batting.”

Left-armer Pat Gilbey will also be a welcome addition to the bowling attack.

A lot will rest on how their perform.

“The key will be our bowling attack,” Taylor said.

“If we restrict Easts to 150 with the ball I think it will be a good contest.”