GLEN Innes is yet to pick up a bat in the Country Plate but will take on Inverell on Sunday for a spot in the fourth round.
Forfeits from Moree and Quirindi have given Glen Innes an easy ride through to the third round.
Sunday will be a different story though, with Inverell having accounted for Walcha and Upper Hunter, and looked pretty good in doing so.
Glen was finalising its side last night. It has a squad of 18 for the rep season.
“We’ve had more people available for rep cricket than the three years we’ve been back into it,” skipper Adrian Sippel said.
He couldn’t really put his finger on why but there’s probably a few factors.
“The guys who have been playing have been enjoying it,” he said.
They’ve been training regularly of a Tuesday afternoon and have had a pretty good roll-up.
“It’s good to see a few of the young guys driving training,” Sippel said.
The extended squad allows for players being away, as is inevitable over the course of the season.
This weekend is no exception, with Chris Elvins, Mikey Williams and Shaun Meppem all unavailable.
“We’re a bit light-on for bowlers,” Sippel said.
It will mean a couple of others will have to step up and take on a bit more of the bowling responsibility.
“We’ll probably pick an extra bowler,” he said.
Not that that should be a problem.
“We’ve got plenty of other young guys who are keen,” Sippel said.
One of those keen young guys is former West Tamworth paceman Jake Baker.
He’s from Glen but attended Farrer for school and is a handly pick-up.
“He’s a pretty handy left armer,” Sippel said. “He’s been bowling well in club cricket, swinging it both ways.”
Inverell has a number of players unavailable for the trip to Glen Innes.
Young leg-spinner Richard Wilson, who claimed three wickets against Dumaresq Colts in last Sunday’s Connolly Cup win has Bradman Cup trials in Tamworth.
Mitch Porter, who topscored last Sunday against the Dumaresq Colts, has Australian Oztag commitments, wicketkeeper Brendon Campbell has family commitments and opening bowler Simon Donnelly has work commitments, inverell captain Jeremy Baxter said yesterday.
“It’s unfortunate to have to make so many changes,” Baxter said.
“However we still have a strong side, especially with Lachlan Binnie coming back.
“Losing young Richard (Wilson) is a blow. He has been bowling really well and, while he’s only turning 16, he’s bowled well for us.”
“Mitch is a loss too because he is a class change bowler.
“Scott Lenord comes in for our wicketkeeper Brendon Campbell.”
One player in form is young opening bat Tom Lavender.
“He played Glen Innes in a school game on Monday and scored 130,” Baxter said.
Baxter named a “rough team” but said there could still be changes.
INVERELL: Jeremy Baxter (capt), Lachlan Binnie, Scott Lenord, Paul Dailey, Jay Sinclair, Tom Lavender, Rodney Blair, Michael Leitinger, Josh Cook, Alex Livingston, Shaun Rynne.