Newcastle Blaster semi-final battle with Northern Rivers Rock promises to set Regional Bash alight

INCOMING: Newcastle representative Marcus Hainsworth has been called into the Blasters squad. Photo: JONATHAN CARROLL
INCOMING: Newcastle representative Marcus Hainsworth has been called into the Blasters squad. Photo: JONATHAN CARROLL

Newcastle representative selectors have been forced to call-up players for Sunday’s Regional Bash finals series at the Sydney Cricket Ground because of the T20 tournament’s eligibility rules. 

Belmont pair Marcus Hainsworth and Ray Cooper will join the Blasters at the Sydney Cricket Ground to take on Northern Rivers Rock for a place in the decider. 

It comes after several individuals doubled up for Newcastle in their recent NSW Premier T20 Cup campaign.

Cricket NSW states only three players in any one team can take part in both competitions with Joe Price, Jed Dickson and Dylan Hunter claiming those positions.

James Rushford and Adrian Chad are the two that miss out from the Blasters’ undefeated qualification round in Maitland in October.

Despite the changes, the Blasters are still loaded with talent and the semi-final clash with the Rock shapes as one of the matches of the tournament.

NSW Country player and NSW Indigenous captain Nathan Price will skipper the Blasters while the Rock is led by fellow Bush Blue Caleb Ziebell, who belted an incredible 128 off 64 balls last weekend to send his side to the finals.

The Rock posses the competition’s two leading run-scorers with Justin Moore making 96 in the same game as the one Ziebell dominated.

The Newcastle Blasters and Northern Rivers Rock meet at 12pm for the right to play in the final under lights at 6pm.