Time to dig deep: Clash of fixtures leaves selectors with gaping holes to fill 

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TAMWORTH has had to revamp its side for Sunday’s War Veterans Cup match-up with Gunnedah with Northern Inland Colts’ commitments ruling out more than half of the side named earlier this week, and even a few that weren’t.

The Northern Inland side to take on Hunter Valley at Scone is still to be finalised but is set to feature the likes of Angus McNeill, Hamish Batley, Luke Fox, Matt Everett and Layne Berry. They had all been named in the Tamworth side to meet Gunnedah.

“There’s a heap of guys we can’t pick,” Tamworth selector Don Lewington said.

The clash came to light when the notification came through 

of the Tamworth, Gunnedah and Armidale sides for Sunday’s round four fixtures.

“It’s the first year the trial has clashed with the War Vets,” Central North zone president Terry Psarakis said.

Central North selectors were hoping to move the trial back a week or the Tamworth/Gunnedah game but neither option was feasible.

It’s meant Tamworth has had to delve into its playing resources.

They’ve called in Josh Crowe, Kris Halloran, Joey Holt, Richie O’Halloran and Jack Cameron.

“It’s not a bad looking side,” Lewington said.

Halloran was going to be rested but is back in, and with Simon Norvill, Adam Lole and Crowe form a strong top four.

Crowe is arguably the form batsmen in the Tamworth competition and travelled down to Newcastle with the Tamworth SCG Country Cup side last Sunday.

“Joey Holt’s been playing well and Jack Cameron’s been keeping well,” Lewington said.

“He’s done a great job (for Norths).”

He’ll be one of three debutants along with Jack McVey and Luke Paterson.

Paterson (Bective-East) and McVey (City) have both been bowling well for their club sides, Lewington said.

Gunnedah is also affected with Matt Brady set to figure in the NI side, while Armidale could be missing Will Frost for its trip out to Narrabri.

It will be Armidale’s final hit-out before the Country Shield finals in Cowra after Christmas.

On top of Frost they will have a couple of other changes to the side that defeated Singleton on Sunday. Adam O’Sullivan, Steve Butler and Matt Schaefer are all out.

Schaefer is also uanavailable for the finals.

“He’s booked to go to New Zealand,” selector Brad King said.

“He’s a massive hole we’ve got to fill, but it gives these other guys a chance.”

He said they’ll probably look at taking 13 down to Cowra where they are scheduled to play Nowra in their semi-final.

Alex Frost, Hugh Reckord and Scott Brennan are the three that come in with Luke Brown still not available.

It will Armidale’s first away game this season and King is expecting a tough game.

“They’ll be hard to beat out there,” King said.

The Dumaresq Colts will also be in action on Sunday and are at home to Glen Innes.

The two met only last month with Glen Innes prevailing.

Matt Jackson will lead a side that includes a handful of his Guyra team-mates, fresh from knocking off Hillgrove last round, and plenty of young blood including TAS (schools) captain Sam Hutton, who will be making his senior rep debut.

“There’s a lot of young fellas there,” King said.

TAMWORTH: Simon Norvill (capt), Adam Lole, Josh Crowe, Kris Halloran, Joey Holt, Richie O’Halloran, Mitch Holt, Jack Cameron, Luke Paterson, Sam McHugh, Ben Semmler, Jack McVey.

ARMIDALE: Andrew Brownlie (cap), Dean Moore, Henry Cupitt, Karl Triebe, Will Frost, Alex Frost, Brad Smith, Hugh Reeves, Michael Dawson, Sam Uphill, Hugh Reckord, Scott Brennan.

DUMARESQ COLTS: Matt Jackson (capt), Justin McKay, Zac Atkins, Corby Kliendienst, Kyle Taylor, Trent Snell, Tom Armitage, Aaron Whackett, Col Starkey, Sam Hutton, Sam Constance, Rumman Hussan.

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