Armidale's eyes on the prize

IF ARMIDALE’S unbeaten run in 2012/13 continues for two more days it will be crowned Country Shield champions.

This summer has already been a highly successful one for the city after three wins in the Shield qualified it for the last four, and a couple of wins in the War Veterans Cup sees it leading that competition into the New Year.

But captain Andrew Brownlie would love to beat Nowra today and then win the final against either Manning or Albury-Wodonga tomorrow and really put Armidale cricket back on the map.

“It’s been great for the ADCA,” he said.

“I have to agree with what Sully (Adam O’Sullivan) said about this, coming on the back of having a successful Colts team for a few years.

“And some of the younger blokes who have been in the ones (first XI) for a few years, like Dean Moore, are really starting to play well.”

Moore will open the batting with teenage left-hander Michael Dawson.

They have provided some solid starts for Armidale this season and that could be crucial at Cowra.

Armidale is expecting some flat batting decks and it will be important for the top four or five batsmen to spend time at the crease and make the most of the conditions.

Scores of 275 might be needed.

“You’d want to bat first down there, especially in this competition,” Brownlie said.

“Then we want to set a total.

“Sully has had a couple of 50s and I got a 90 in the first game against Narrabri.

“Since then we haven’t really had any big scores but everyone has contributed and we’ve still got up around that 240.

“If we can get 240 to 280 down there it will be competitive.

“We’ve batted well and our bowlers have backed it up.”

Karl Triebe and Henry Cupitt spearhead the bowling attack.

They have been successful in taking two or three early wickets in most games so far this season.

Sam Uphill also bowls seamers and has been taking wickets every game.

“They were good at Narrabri,” Brownlie said.

“We’ll look to Karl to get early wickets and make that breakthrough.

“Then Sammy Uphill comes on and bowls stump to stump.

“They often don’t give him the respect he deserves.

“Then the slow bowlers have been doing a good job.”

For the first time, tall left-armer Luke Brown has been included in the team and will provide great support to the other three.

In the slow bowling ranks, Stephen Butler is the specialist spinner with his left-arm orthodox turners.

Brownlie and O’Sullivan also chime in with plenty of overs and have been picking up wickets as well.

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