Reigning Plan B Regional Bash champions Newcastle Blasters will begin their title defence this Sunday on home turf. The Blasters will play Central Coast Rush and Hunter Hitmen in back-to-back matches at Waratah Oval in Newcastle. New team in the competition the Lake Mac Attack will also make their first appearance on Sunday. The Mac Attack play the Hitmen followed by the Rush at Harker Oval in Newcastle. All four teams will compete within the Newcastle Pool and the winner will progress through to finals day in December. The first match in the Newcastle Pool last weekend between Central Coast Rush and Hunter Hitmen was declared a draw after wet weather prevented any play. Nathan Price will once again lead the Blasters on Sunday. He was named player of the tournament last season and his tally of 158 runs at 39.50 was key to his side taking the title. Price was the leading run-scorer for the Plan B Regional Bash in 2017/18. He was three runs clear of the hard-hitting Northern Rivers Rock allrounder, Caleb Ziebell, who scored 155 runs at 51.67. Ziebell made a highest score of 128 not out from 64 balls against Northern Inland Bolters last season. Last season was a very successful summer for Price. He also led NSW to glory at the Male National Indigenous Cricket Championships. Price is also a former player with the Randwick Petersham club in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket. Josh Claridge will be another key player for the Blasters. The top order batsman is currently developing his game within the Cricket NSW Pathways system. Allrounder Adrian Chad was named Newcastle District Cricket Association Player of the Year in 2017/18 and will be pivotal to the success of the Mac Attack in the Plan B Regional Bash. Chad scored 668 runs at 37.11 and took 42 scalps at an average of 13.71 for Toronto Workers in the Newcastle competition last season. He will be joined by classy top order batsman, Jed Dickson, and NSW Country representative, Ryan Fenning for the Mac Attack on Sunday. Clever left-arm spinner Chris Archer and, NSW Country Bush Blues’ fast bowler, Scott Burkinshaw, are the star players for the Rush. Burkinshaw claimed 11 wickets at 12.73 for the Bush Blues during their victorious National Country Cricket Championships last season. Aggressive batsman Tom Irwin and Central Northern representative player and, clever medium-pacer, Greg Sheehan will be the key players for the Hitmen. Last weekend the Coffs Coast Chargers won all three of their matches in the Port Macquarie Pool to advance to the finals day.