Tweed tunes up for SCG
By BOB ANTHONY firstname.lastname@example.org
ABUNCHof Tweed blokes are heading to Tamworth next week, but it has nothing to do with country music ? it's the Tweed representative cricket team.
The 15-man squad is vying to secure a grand final berth in the SCG Cup in Sydney in February.
But first it must make it through next week's semi-finals by winning at least three matches. That's a pretty tough ask when everyone else is kicking up their heels for the festive season.
For Tweed's rep players there will be just enough time to open their Christmas presents before hitting the road on Boxing Day.
According to team manager Owen Pringle, this year's preparation will have the Tweed side in better shape to make an impact in the semis.
"Last year we virtually arrived the night before the competition started and had to rush around finding out our schedule, sort accommodation and try and get used to the Tamworth heat this time of year," Pringle said.
"This year we leave on Boxing Day which will give us a few days in Tamworth to acclimatise and settle in before our first match on Thursday, December 28.
"We are taking a bigger squad which will meanwe can share the workload and cover for any injuries.
"Last year we took the minimum 11 players but still put in a great effort to finish third in the tournament. The majority of this year's squad have played in the semis and that experience should prove to be very valuable next week."
And the Tweed will need to use every ounce of experience it can get, having drawn last year's runners-up Oak Flat in its opening match.
Pringle said the squad aimed to win every game, but even an opening loss would give the Tweed a second chance to stay in the competition.
"This is a good, well-balanced squad we are taking, with a strong bowling attack and some good batsmen," Pringle said.
"We will be without Mark Anderson, who can't make it due to work commitments, but in his place will come Joe Clarke.
"After the loss last week to Ipswich in the Webb Shield ? which also involved several of the players going to Tamworth ? we know what's required to succeed in the competition."
Making the team's task a little easier has been major sponsorship by Rory Curtis The Good Guys which has donated $1500 towards the trip.
TWEED - Craig Wilson; Terry Wilson; Heath Wilson; Paul Dhillon; Aaron Chapman; Mick Gray; Joe Clarke; Chris Carroll; Chris Moase; Grant Thompson; Lee Baker; Jamie Wilson; Jason Fletcher; Damien King; Ryan Willoughby