Sport

Open wide, come in Side

By Alex Mitchell

Two top six Haisman Shield outfits will square off in Nagambie tomorrow, with the Lakers looking for their first home win of the season.

Facing them will be Northerners, who have won two straight games off the back of red-hot batsman Joel Brett.

A massive inclusion for the Jets would be the likely cameo of Ryan Sidebottom, the gun County Cricket paceman back training with the side and ready to make an impact with the new ball.

Nagambie’s challenge is to recreate its away form on its home deck; 3-0 away, the Lakers have lost twice at home, posting batting totals of just 9-112 and 113.

Skipper Mark Nolan said his side had no excuses for poor showings at home and would look to rectify that situation against his former club.

‘‘We haven’t played well on our deck, but that’s our fault, the wicket is fine,’’ Nolan said.

‘‘Hopefully we can chalk one up this weekend. The wicket is fine, I’d say it’s about a 180 wicket.

‘‘It’s going to be a good game, they’re going well at 4-1. Snowy (Brett) has made a couple of 100s, so it would be nice if we could get him cheaply, he’s a pretty handy bat.’’

The Lakers know they can beat the best though, having dominated against Katandra last Saturday to beat the reigning premier by six wickets.

Nathan Fothergill will do what he can to stop Brett and the Jets’ top-order, having jagged 4-14 in nine overs last round.

At 4-1, the Jets are winning games, but coach Steve Allen said posting a strong batting total could not keep falling onto the shoulders of one player.

‘‘We’re probably travelling okay, and finding totals we probably weren’t getting consistently last season,’’ he said.

‘‘At different stages everyone has contributed, two or three of the lower-order guys have contributed when required.

‘‘But I think our top two or three batsmen would like a bit of a better start, it’s one area we need to improve. We’ve lost one or two early wickets fairly consistently and we need to work on that.’’

Allen said stopping Nolan would be vital, with the Jets knowing exactly what their former player is capable of.

‘‘They’ve got good cricketers there and have played a few good games,’’ he said.

‘‘Mark Nolan is a talented cricketer that was with us last year, he’s a very tidy bowler and wicket-taker and also a reasonable bat. The talent is there for them and they’ve had some good wins.’’