Mid season merry-go-round

Norths Goonellabah RSL opening batsman Brad Walker just gets under a thunderbolt from Tintenbar East Ballinas Luke Shay at Heaps Oval on Saturday. Norman Ryder is the umpire and the Hawks top scorer Daniel Cox is the batsman backing up.

Club loyalty has been a virtual given in this district since stumps were first stuck in the ground, but not this season, with Dominic Marsh, John Hampson and Matt Boyd all changing clubs. Workers picked up both Marsh (Marist Brothers) and Hampson (Norths) while losing Boyd to the Hawks.

Bears maul Workers

Although Workers picked up two talented and committed players in the form of Marsh and Hampson, they werent ready to face up to Ballina Bears on a very grassy and two-paced Fripp Oval pitch on Saturday. Big papa bear Damien Knights (3 for 9) tore through the Maroon top order to have them 3 for 3 and when young Robert Dorey (3 for 13) chimed in the Lismore mens innings was in tatters. They were finally all out for 72. Ballina only took 24 overs hauling in the total and already have Workers two down in their second innings with an outright on the cards.

Mystery pitch

When the Hawks latest signing Matt Boyd dropped Brett Crawfords first ball, his new club captain, Nathan Bonamy, mustve started to wonder whether he might send him back. Fortunately for the former Workers Club player, Crawford fell only seven runs later rather than smashing his usual quick-fire 70. Earlier the Hawks had compiled a moderate 155 on a strange pitch at Heaps Oval. A hard green top which held up and spun prodigiously go figure. Daniel Cox batted well on the mystery pitch for his 40, while left arm orthodox Jordan Waugh took advantage of a rough patch on a good length to pick up 5 for 32. In reply the Bar were 2 for 64 at stumps and looking like they should cruise to victory next week, particularly with the Hawks missing spinner Steve Lockhart.

Gregors finds an uncomfortable length

The humble cricket protector is probably the batsmans most important piece of equipment, but when the ball slips through the defences and ploughs into the hardened plastic cup it still hurts mightily. Ian Gregory is one of the quickest bowlers in the league and lets just say he made the going uncomfortable for the Cavaliers at Oakes Oval on Saturday. He left Casinos premier batsman Sam Irvine clutching his nether regions for more than five minutes before returning to the crease. It unsettled the young gun, who gloved a Gregory bouncer through to Daniel Rowlands moments later. All up Easts bowled and fielded well for most of the day, only to let things slip late as Al Nowland (25 n.o.) and Wade Sweeney (50 n.o.) put on 69 for the ninth wicket and ended the day at 8 for 232. This game is still in the balance.

Collins could be the answer

Alstonville have a quality bowling line-up, but they have been struggling in the batting department for some time, although it seems they may have found an answer. Gifted stroke player Nathan Collins put away the bad balls and defended the good ones for a chanceless 80 on Saturday against Marist Brothers at Nesbitt Park. Although 218 isnt a huge total it could prove a testing one for Brothers next week. Brothers keeper Luke Collings took four catches and performed a stumping in an excellent display behind the wickets.

Souths thrash Lennox

Lennox must have thought they were in with a chance when James Everingham snatched up a brilliant reflex catch in the gully to dismiss Rex Parrish early on at Megan Crescent Oval in Lennox Head. But all it did was bring Anthony Nind (73) and Paul McLean (76) together and they put on 128 for the first wicket. Mitchell Pickford then finished the Pirates off with an elegant 62 as Souths accumulated 329 from 71 overs. The Pirates were 2 for 18 at stumps and will probably have spent the week praying for rain. Can they play out another draw? Possibly, but Souths will be at them from the get go until the final pill.

Lismore smashed

Lismore were handed their third straight loss in the Web Shield on Sunday at Oakes Oval, but at least they got to watch some of the best Queensland Country cricketers ever to pull on a pair of spikes. Brian May captained the Queensland Country Cricket Team to victory here last year in the Australian National Country Championships, producing innings after innings of sublime batting. On Sunday he gave the locals another viewing of his abilities, knocking up 98 from 105 balls as Ipswich put on 300 from their 50 overs. Former Queensland State player Michael Sippel also enjoyed the feast, smashing his 87 from 55 balls. Lismore were 2 for 86 after 25 overs, well short of the required run rate, when rain ended play.

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