Twenty years ago the mention of Paul Milgates name was enough to produce a cold sweat amongst opening batsmen across the region. Not just frighteningly fast, Milgates beautifully smooth action also produced an unerringly accurate delivery. So if you werent scared for your life you were at least troubled about losing your wicket. Now hes back and playing for Lennox Head, and although he doesnt illicit the same terror, he remains just as accurate. So it was hardly surprising with the Hawks showing little respect for their own wickets that he should capture 4 for 33 in his comeback game. However, the Pirates failed to capitalise on their efforts in the field and were 7 for 84 by stumps with the game poised on a knife edge. Fortunately for the Pirates Milgate is yet to bat and with at least one century to his name in grade cricket he might be able to limp the seasiders over the line. If the weather holds, this game could produce an outright that could rocket the winner into the top four.
The Hawks versus Pirates match was the only two-day match this round after wet weather caused the cancellation of the first day of the other round five matches. These games will all be played as one-day, 40 overs per side affairs this Saturday.
Perhaps the most crucial match-up is the one between second-placed Easts and third-placed Tintenbar East Ballina at Neilson Park. The Bar have had the wood on Easts over the last few years and they will see this as a chance to leap to the head of the pack, while Jobsons boys could be a bit tired as they will be backing up from a Friday night one-day game against Marist Brothers. Whatever the result this will be a fire cracker of a game.
Ballina Bears will be keen to stay in the top four and need to beat a lacklustre Alstonville at Fripp Oval. But this local derby is alway tight and Alstonvilles attack is as good as any going around.
Regular finalists Casino Cavaliers, who are adrift in mid-table, will face a season-defining challenge on Saturday when they play top-of-the-comp Souths at Nesbitt Park.
Meanwhile, Marist Brothers, who are only just one point off the top four will be disappointed that the weather has robbed them of the chance to outright the cellar dwelling Workers Club. They need the win.
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