TAKING FLIGHT: Bird explodes for huge 159 run flourish
LCCA FIRST GRADE: A bolstered Harwood side put Lawrence to the sword with a whopping 197-run thrashing at Barry Watts Oval yesterday.
With Harwood’s Premier League match against Valleys called off by the opposition, several stars made their presence felt in the Maclean Bowling Club competition.
None more so than Harry Bird (159) who claimed the biggest score of the season to date with a clinical display that included 19 fours.
Harwood utility man Matt Farrell was pleased to see Bird back among the runs on Saturday.
“It was good to see Harry Bird score some runs. He’s been pretty lean this year after a good run last season,” Farrell said.
An understrength Lawrence side gave chase and, despite a solid knock from Travis Anderson (29), the bottom-of-the-table side fell for just 83 runs.
“It was a very big win for the first graders,” Farrell said.
Initially expecting a difficult weekend due to a lack of numbers, Farrell said he was pleased to be able to help out.
“We were going to be short across all grades on Saturday but with our NCCC Premier League Game called off we were all able to get a game,” he said.
“Our third grade side only had seven or eight players but first grade captain, Trent Lobb, who is out with sickness, was going to play but we were able to spare him.”
Harwood’s Evan Lewis (37) and young star Lachlan Richardson (31) helped pile on the runs for the riverside club and despite being understrength, Farrell said he had expected bigger things from Lawrence this season.
“Lawrence were quite understrength due to guys at work or weddings. Some of the lower grade guys filled in and bowled well but Harry knew how to take advantage,” he said.
“In my eyes, Lawrence, were the team to beat on paper at start of season but they just haven’t been firing yet.”
Farrell believes the first-grade competition has been a good platform for the club’s young stars to find their feet before joining the Premier League side.
“Some of the guys like Troy Turner (3 for 11 off 6) and Lachlan (Richardson) are not only young but they do really well in that grade,” he said.
“Corey Lewis was really impressive as well. It’s good to see some really young guys that are only 15 or 16 doing bits for us.”
Maclean United were on the winners’ list once again with a 72-run win against Iluka but Farrell believes the second half of the season could bring some surprises.
“Harwood can challenge Maclean in the tail end of the season. Any team can be beaten on any day,” he said.
“The Wanderers were a good example of that, they were dominant but they weren’t unbeatable.
“Don’t get me wrong, United are a standout side and have been for the last couple of years. They’ve got a good mix of youth and experience, but I see no reason why any team can’t knock them off.”
Harwood sit in second place but Farrell believes they can challenge for the premiership come the end of the season.
“As long as they can get some more games under their belt we will start firing in this competition,” he said.
“There have been lots of disruptions but we just need some games in a row to build some momentum, then the club could be going for silverware across all grades.”