Workers to take on Norths

WORKERS have dominated Rex Airlines Far North Coast Major League baseball grand finals for most of the past decade but their start to 2010 has been far from characteristic.

Workers are lagging behind Norths and Redbirds this season, having dropped a number of games to the top teams.

Today Workers can make amends when they take on Norths on Thew Field at Albert Park in Lismore at 2.45pm.

Norths have been in superb form with Clint McCarthy, Matt Vidler and Jason Britt consistent with the bat and Paul Simes and Britt dominating on the mound.

Workers have struggled for depth in their pitching as the side continues to look for a partner for the consistent Troy Pruess.

Bryce Martin has shown some excellent potential a number of times in the past 12 months, but is still learning to work the corners of the plate and maintain his control.

Workers have a solid batting line-up on paper, but they have struggled for consistency.

One of the features of the past decade has been their ability to fire at any point in the line-up to generate multiple runs when they’re needed.

That ability to overwhelm teams has abated along with the intimidation they carried on to the field.

Coach Scott McClelland continues to work with his side and has some good talent in Sam Keehn, Trent Clark, Chris Daley and Dan Clark.

If these players fire in coming weeks they can compensate for their problems on the mound.

In the other game today, Marist Brothers will have their opportunity to upset the Easts Redbirds apple cart on Baxter Field.

Brothers have been making incremental improvements in recent weeks and managed to extend Workers to the full nine innings last Saturday.

Errors have been Brothers’ biggest weakness, along with inconsistent batting.

If coach Mick Youngberry can inspire his side towards greater consistency in execution they have the ability to challenge Redbirds.

Redbirds present one of the best pitching line-ups in the competition, enabling them to call on any one of seven pitchers to take the mound.

Steve Best and Nick Shailes have been worked out well this season, while Robbie Pruess made inroads last weekend in his return to the game.

Whoever Redbirds go with, Brothers will need to step up and hit.

Matt Buckley still has the ability to lead from the front for Brothers but is still finding his way in the batter’s box.

Buckley’s temporary retirement left a few glitches, but there is little doubt that his hand-eye co-ordination and swing remain as sharp as ever.

With the extra pace of the Redbirds pitching and consistency in the strike zone, Buckley may well use this game to announce his return to the top grade.

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