TAMWORTH and Armidale have named what they hope will be winning sides for this Sunday’s round of War Veterans Cup matches.
The home teams are both unbeaten in the competition so far.
Armidale is two from two while Tamworth has only played one game for one win.
Selector Don Lewington has named a Tamworth side brimming with batting talent for Sunday’s visit of Narrabri.
“It’s starting to look really good,” he said.
“A lot of them are in good form too.
“The only player we left out was Jimmy Psarakis who has under 16s commitments this week.
“He’ll certainly come into contention next week for Country Cup.
“Taking nothing away from the War Vets, but that’s what we’re building for.”
Tamworth will bat deep, with state under 19s rep Harrison Kelly, Leo Steyn and Sam McHugh all in the all-rounder category.
They complement a top order that features Michael Rixon, Simon Norvill, Adam Jones, Nick Pearson and Kris Halloran and Adam Lole and skipper Tom Groth are also there for good measure.
“That is obviously our strength,” Lewington said.
“You’ve got Leo Steyn coming in at eight or nine and he’s got a first grade ton under his belt.
“That’s where our depth is, but you still have to get runs up the top.”
The bowling ranks are still short on experience compared to the batting list, but Angus McNeil, Steyn, McHugh, Hamish Batley and Kelly still make for a good attack.
“Angus bowled well with the under 19s and Hamish and Leo are young kids,” Lewington said.
“Having Harrison Kelly available again is a handy acquisition because he’s a good all-rounder and bowls left-arm spin.
“Aaron Hazlewood is unavailable this week but it’s looking like a really well-balanced side.”
Narrabri has lost its first two games but has performed well with the bat.
Captain Lachie Cameron has two centuries to his name already and will bring a side keen to step up against the region’s dominant team.
“Narrabri have been playing well,” Lewington said.
“Lachie Cameron has been getting runs and leading them pretty well.
“I think they will be tough.”
Meanwhile, Armidale has drafted in some young batting talent for its clash with Gunnedah at the Armidale Sportsground.
Michael Dawson and Will Frost are part of the batting lineup alongside more experienced regulars like skipper Andrew Brownlie, Matt Schaefer and Dean Moore.
Dawson, keeper Brad Smith, paceman Henry Cupitt and Hugh Reeves have all been promoted after playing in Sunday’s Connolly Cup loss to Glen Innes, but will aim for a much better result against a Gunnedah team coming off a good victory at Narrabri.
Steve Butler and Luke Brown are the experienced men in the bowling attack.
Armidale is also preparing for its Country Shield clash with Singleton on December 9.
TAMWORTH: Tom Groth (c), Michael Rixon, Simon Norvill, Adam Jones, Nick Pearson, Kris Halloran, Harrison Kelly, Adam Lole, Leo Steyn, Hamish Batley, Sam McHugh, Angus McNeil.
ARMIDALE: Michael Dawson, Dean Moore, Matt Schaefer, Andrew Brownlie (c), Brad Smith, Paul Woodford, Will Frost, Steve Butler, Sam Uphill, Henry Cupitt, Hugh Reeves, Luke Brown.