More disciplined bowling will be the catchcry from University skipper Matt Gawthrop as the Sea Dragons attempt to keep their Tom Locker Cup defence alive.
University delivered 22 wides in last weekend’s nine-wicket loss to Hamwicks and Gawthrop knows they can’t afford to do the same if they want another shot at the silverware.
The Sea Dragons (nine points) share third spot in Pool B and on Saturday host second-placed Charlestown (14) in the third-round Newcastle District Cricket Association fixture.
It’ll be the midway point of the five-week, 40-over, one-day competition and another defeat could put University out of contention to make the November 12 final.
“We need to win tomorrow and Charlestown, who have a good young team, are off to a good start,” Gawthrop said.
“I’m really confident of us with the bat, but I just hope we can build pressure with the ball. That’s my only concern because we bowled 22 wides last week.
“We’ve worked really hard this week on our bowling and a few plans to make sure we’re all on the same page.”
University off-season recruit Colby Gallagher prepares to play against his former Charlestown teammates for the first time since changing clubs.
Another former Magpie in James Rushford misses the match with Newcastle Blasters commitments at the Regional Bash in Maitland this weekend while form Charlestown batsman Jed Dickson is also away on representative duties.
The Magpies welcome back Glenn Winsor, who was last week selected in the Australian under-17 squad, and gain Sri Lankan first-class all-rounder Saliya Saman.
Elsewhere in Pool B and top-of-the-table Wests (16) are at home to Hamwicks (9) at Harker Oval with Joe Price, Tom Allen, Josh Trappel and Ben Balcomb all out while Stockton-Raymond Terrace and Cardiff-Boolaroo will look to open their 2017-2018 accounts at Lynn Oval.
In Pool A unbeaten Belmont tackle Merewether, Wallsend are minus captain Joe Price and Jacob Montgomery when they meet Newcastle City while both Waratah-Mayfield and Toronto are yet to register a win.