Narrabri cricket: Civeo and RSL battle for grand final spot

Civeo will be looking to turn around their fortunes against RSL as they chase a spot in next weekend’s Narrabri grand final where Tatts are ready and waiting.

RSL have won three of the four 45-over encounters between the two sides.

All have been close though with only a wicket or two in it.

It is only the second time in eight years Civeo has made the finals.

Central to their resurgence has been the form of skipper Lachlan Cameron and opening partner Nick Smart, with the latter in the midst of a purple patch.

“He’s looking comfortable at the moment, it’s looking like batting practice for him,” Cameron, who himself had a great start to the season, remarked.

One of the stars of Narrabri’s War Veterans Cup success, Cameron said Smart is batting as well as he has ever seen him.

He credited that to a change in batting philosophy.

“He’s batting with a lot of maturity,” he said.

“It’s obviously working. He’s just ticked over 500 runs for the year.”

It’s worked well for them too as an opening partnership, allowing Cameron to play his natural game.

“It’s been good. We’ve got a ying and yang thing going,” he said.

They are the prized scalps for any opposition and so often set the tone for Civeo’s innings.

Mick Dowdell will play a similarly important role for RSL, and was, not surprisingly, the first player Cameron made mention of.

”Obviously they’ve got guys like Mick that can take the game away from you really quickly,” he said.

So far they have been pretty lucky.

“I think he’s only sort of got one score against us,” Cameron said, albeit with a hint of wariness in his tone.

“But that could be dangerous, he could be due.”

He did note that Andrew Irvine hadn’t been listed in the RSL side, which he wasn’t complaining about.

“He’s a good batter in big games,” he said.

“I think the last time they were in a grand final he scored 100.”

Jake Brayshaw is though coming back from Newcastle to play, and will pose a big threat with the ball.

“Especially in the form he finished year on,” Cameron said.

“Hopefully he used it up on War Vets final and the day before.”

The spinner took 12 wickets across the two games.

Nathan Trindall is another bowler “that on his day can win you a game”.

With the ball for Civeo, Cameron will be looking to Jordyn Mowle to lead the charge.

“He’s been bowling with bad luck, a lot of dropped catches, a lot of balls falling short,” he said.

“I know his luck will turn.”