EASTS skipper Sam Uphill believes last Saturday’s last round loss to Hillgrove Colts could be a “blessing in disguise” for his first grade side’s Armidale premiership aspirations.
A 53-run loss to Hillgrove handed Hillgrove the minor premiership as well as a weekend off before the March 19/20 Armidale first grade grand final.
Easts play Armidale City, which also lost its final round game to Ex-Services last Saturday, in this weekend’s knockout preliminary final at NEM Armidale Sportsground.
“I’ve always hated having the week off,” Uphill told The Leader.
“It might be a blessing in disguise.”
Easts will welcome back Sam Constance and Matt Jackson but could be missing Ben Hanlan and in-form opening bat Aaron Whackett.
Uphill and fellow opening bowler Tyson Burey have also been fighting injury to be right for the big end-of-season games.
“I was bowling slower than Todd,” Uphill admitted of his recent rib problems about star allrounder and off-spinner Francis.
“Tyson’s got a nerve hip flexor problem. Hopefully we’ll be both right for the final against City. That won’t be easy. You never want to play them at the end of the season because they always seem to be a side picking up form at the end of the season.”
City skipper Steve Butler is hoping his opposing captain is correct after his side produced a “flat” effort with the ball against Servies.
Chasing 211, Servies lost eight wickets in reaching their target and finished the season on a high.
The major consolation from that loss is the fact City is still alive, Butler said.
“We can fight on from here,” he told The Leader.
“We were pretty ordinary against Servies and threw it away. I would have rathered played Easts in the grand final because (up until last Saturday) they were the form team in the comp. But we’ve got to beat both (Easts and Hillgrove) to win it. We’ll play hard; it should be a good wicket.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.