Mason to make tough call

Raymond Terrace skipper Troy Mason has struggled to get a wink of shut eye ahead of this weekend.

Not so much with the anticipation of a semi-final encounter with defending premiers Western Suburbs at Robins Oval this Saturday and Sunday after missing the play-offs last season, but in ­worrying about who to select in his final XI.

“I haven’t slept all week,” he said.

“We have 13 or 14 blokes to pick from and who are available and that doesn’t go into 11.

“But they are the tough decisions you have to make and they are good headaches to have at this time of year.”

Weighing heavily on Mason’s mind is the return of his former opening partner Joey Collins, who arrived back in Australia around Christmas time after an extended stint in the UK.

They paired up to help the Lions claim the 2000-2010 premiership and bowling has been Mason’s main concern this summer, with the likes of Nathan Eveleigh, Giles Manly, Luke Maher, Graham Maytom and Tyson Jolly among the runs. 

“Our batting hasn’t been a major drama,” he said.

“But for the first time in a long time our bowling has been very inconsistent.

“Hopefully we can get runs on the board and our bowlers can repay the favour.”

Mason said Maher would undergo a fitness test this afternoon to determine if he would be right to take the field this weekend after ­dislocating a finger in the field late last month.

The other semi-final has minor premiers Northern Suburbs up against City United at Lorn Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Play starts at 12.30pm on both days.

- See tomorrow’s Mercury for the full Maitland district cricket semi-final draw in both junior and senior competitions.