Mace in rallying call to batsmen

CHARLESTOWN skipper Steve Mace has called on his senior players to use the bat to reverse the club's horrible start to the Newcastle district cricket season.

Last week Charlestown were rolled for 62 at University Oval by University, after the home side made 132 in the first innings. Uni will resume at 0-21 today.

The meek capitulation by the Magpies was the fourth time this summer the club has been dismissed for under 120.

They have also scored the least number of runs (865) of any club this season and sit eighth on the table.

Mace, who made a match-winning 65 against Toronto Workers three weeks ago, is the only batsman to pass 50.

The veteran captain said that he, Jed Dickson and Dane Macourt were the ones expected to drive Charlestown's revival.

"We've still got a fairly young side but there's a core three or four guys who are more experienced and it's up to those guys to lead the way and hopefully the young guys can get dragged along with it," Mace said.

Traditionally the Magpies have been one of the more consistent clubs in Newcastle.

Since 2004-05 the club has lost outright only once - in 2010-11.

However, after six completed rounds Charlestown have lost outright to Hamilton-Wickham and Merewether and are in danger of losing a third against University.

"We've always been in there battling hard and no one has ever had an easy game against us," Mace said.

"We've been knocked over a little too easy for my liking in a couple of games this year.

"We're still in the game against Uni and we're still positive."

Meanwhile, Merewether's Mark Cameron said his side were not eyeing off an outright victory over Wallsend today at Townson Oval.

The Tigers are chasing Merewether's mammoth 373, which the former NSW quick helped set up by blasting 72 off 70 balls at the death last Saturday.

When asked if Merewether were aiming to bowl Wallsend out twice for maximum points, Cameron said: "I wouldn't have thought so. I think the boys will be happy with six.

"We're not that arrogant. If you can walk away with six points we'll be very happy."

Wallsend certainly should not be underestimated.

In the same fixture last season at Wallsend Oval the Tigers caused the boilover of the summer when they chased down Merewether's 6-418 with three wickets and three overs to spare.

Wallsend captain Brett Jackson (166 not out) and now University batsman Joe Curk (118) were the heroes that day with a 222-run partnership.

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