Gunnedah can’t drop its guard

GUNNEDAH cannot take Narrabri lightly when they meet in Sunday’s War Veterans Cup clash in Gunnedah despite the fact Narrabri cannot make the February 17 WVC Final.

Gunnedah must win its final two games against Narrabri and Armidale (January 20) to claim a WVC Final berth.

They are currently third on 14 points, one behind second-placed Tamworth (15) and six adrift of WVC leaders Armidale (20).

“Every game is vital, we have to win both to make the final,”  Gunnedah co-captain Troy Sands said.

“Neither will be easy. Narrabri did a pretty good job against us in our last game. We made 240-250 and they put up a pretty good chase.”

Sands said Gunnedah’s new look side has done better than expected this WVC season too.

“We thought it was going to be a tough year,” he said.

“But the boys have been really consistent and performed well. Our last game against Armidale in Armidale we almost got home. The boys did really well up there.”

That came after a bus breakdown on the way up as well.

“That was a bit of a bugger,” Sands said.

“But we almost got home.”

He said Gunnedah’s team for Sunday’s VC match had not been settled on but believes it will be similar.

“Won’t be too many changes,” he said.

“Have to contact a few of the boys yet, we’ve been a little slack over 

Christmas.”

A stirring win over Tamworth just before Christmas rekindled the Gunnedah hopes as well.

Ben Middlebrook captained that day and will line up again on Sunday.

He’s been suffering from a shoulder injury suffered earlier in the season and while its a niggle he reckons it has ended his aussie rules career.

“The shoulder is a bit of a hassle but I’m coping okay,” he said.

“But I’m going to have to give the aussie rules a miss this winter.”

One positive for Gunnedah is the fact it has a full round of grade cricket programmed for Saturday.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a local round on the Saturday before the rep stuff after Christmas,” Sands said.

“That should work out well for us. Everyone should be able to get a good hit in for Sunday.”

NORTHERN INLAND CRICKET TABLES

WAR VETERANS CUP: Armidale 20, Tamworth 15, Gunnedah 14, Narrabri 4. MA CONNOLLY CUP: NORTHERN CONFERENCE - Pilliga 18, Narrabri 8, Moree 6. SOUTHERN CONFERENCE - Tamworth 12, Quirindi 7, Gunnedah 0. EASTERN CONFERENCE - Glen Innes 14, Inverell 8, Dumaresq 3.

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