High hopes at home

ARMIDALE will miss two of its most experienced campaigners when it faces its biggest test of the summer so far, but hasn’t ruled out a win over Tamworth at the Armidale Sportsground.

After two good wins in the Country Shield the Armidale boys are full of confidence despite losing skipper Andrew Brownlie and former captain Adam O’Sullivan for Sunday’s War Vets Cup game.

“It’s still a pretty good side,” Brownlie said.

“Sam (Uphill) bowled unbelievably last week against Gunnedah and Matty Schaefer looked good before he got out.

“Brad Smith has been playing well at club level and Roman (Hassan) has been in good form.

“It still looks pretty good.”

Armidale has had its best start to a summer in a long time with good wins over Narrabri and Gunnedah.

Better batting efforts have been the catalyst for those wins and even without Brownlie and O’Sullivan the home side would love to top 200 again this week.

“We’ve always had good bowling sides,” Brownlie said.

“It’s been the batting that has let us down.

“With scores of 220 and above this year at the Armidale Sportsground, that’s very good.

“200 is normally a winning score there. Then we’ve been backing it up in the field, taking our catches.”

Schaefer will skipper the side in Brownlie’s absence, something he did for most of last season, and will have some handy youngsters at his disposal.

A win or even a strong showing against Tamworth would be a great boost for some of those youngsters.

“Sammy Uphill is a good example of that,” Brownlie said.

“He’s been around the side for a couple of years and has been excellent the last few weeks.

“Michael Dawson is an incredible young batter so hopefully a big score isn’t far off for him.

“I think it will be a good game.

“It’s a shame that I won’t be there but it will be a good hit-out for us before the next Country Shield game.”

ARMIDALE: Dean Moore, Paul Woodford, Michael Dawson, Matt Schaefer (c), Roman Hassan, Scott Brennan, Luke Brown, Brad Smith, Steve Butler, Karl Triebe, Sam Uphill, Henry Cupitt.

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