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We need to lift, says East Armidale skipper

EASTS captain Sam Uphill had a frank message for his troops following a first innings loss in the last two-day round game against Hillgrove on Saturday.

Easts captain Sam Uphill was disappointed in the way the minor premiers played in their loss to Hillgrove on Saturday.

“If we were playing in a final today we would have lost it,” Uphill said.

As it was they lost on first innings points anyway, but the message was clear.

“We bowled all right but our fielding wasn’t good enough and we were terrible with the bat,” Uphill said.

Easts resumed nine down and still needing 40 runs to beat Hillgrove’s first innings total of 142.

They failed to add to the scorebook before being bowled out in the second over of the day and sent back in.

The second time around they did a lot better, with a couple of batsmen getting starts and at least seeing the bowlers off to be 6-150 when the game was called off.

Hillgrove will play City next week for the chance to play Easts in the final, but the Easts skipper said they have plenty of work to do if they want to compete.

“Hillgrove are very hard to beat and would be harder still in the final because they have some big-game players,” Uphill said.

“We stopped and had a chat and the message is that we need to turn up wanting to win the final.

“Whoever wants it more will win it.”

Stand-in City captain Brad Smith said the exact same thing of next week’s preliminary final after they finished off second best against Ex-Services who pulled out a good performance in their final match of the year.

“It will be whoever wants it more on the day,” Smith said.

After dismissing Ex-Services for 126 the week before, City resumed at 2-38 and matched Ex-Services before sending them back in to try for an outright in order to finish second in case it rains next week.

Ex Services captain Cody Graham made 102 not out in double time as he thrashed the ball all over the ground.

His opening batting partner, Will Green, was also not out at the end of play, on 15.

“There was a plethora of dropped catches and wickets off no balls today,” Smith said.

“Hillgrove have had the wood on us this season but I would back us in next week.

“We have a good attack and just need to score some runs.”

The final will be played over Saturday and Sunday next weekend at the Sportsground, starting at 1pm.

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