South Dubbo Hornet Angus Norton has sent a stern warning to his fellow batsmen to “stand up and be counted” in the second half of the RSL-Whitney Cup season.
The ladder’s bottom dwellers are yet to win a game in the 2018-19 competition but could face their best chance yet when they meet fifth-placed Macquarie at Victoria Park No 3 Oval on Saturday.
But with captain Mitch Bower now out indefinitely with a broken finger, the remaining Hornets have a tough job ahead.
Bower averages 59.8 in all forms of the game this season – 40.6 in RSL-Whitney Cup – and is Souths’ top top run-scorer at 11th in the competition rankings.
“Obviously the skipper, he’s a NSW Country player, Western Zone, he’s one of the best players in the competition,” Norton said.
“It’s a massive blow and I don’t think we can fill it, but we have to.
“It’s going to take the rest of us to all step up a little bit to get the job done.”
The Hornets are yet to score more than 200 runs in a game this season, their best effort (196) coming in their last clash with Macquarie.
They did manage 194 against competition heavyweights Newtown back in December, but that was with a thumping knock of 81 from Bower. It was also far below the target set for them of 6-289.
“It’s just not good enough,” Norton said.
“Myself and the other batsmen really need to stand up.
“I think Corey McDean, we could probably see some more runs out of him and a few of the younger guys as well – it would be really nice to see them put their hands up and try and cement a spot in first grade.”
McDean averages just 12.4 from five innings so far this season, while Norton himself has an average score of 22.2 from three innings.
He also called for more from Adam Wells (averaging 22.6 from seven), Mat Finlay (35.3 from four) and Scott Tucker (7.7 from three).
But he acknowledged the Hornets would have their work cut out for them on Saturday.
“We’re obviously hoping but Macquarie are a good team,” Norton said.
“And they’ve got a lot of good players such as Greeny (Jason Green), the Medways (Dan and Ricky) and James Hughes – and the Haylocks (Ed and Joseph) if they’re playing.”
Play commences at 1pm at Victoria Park No 3 Oval.