Last years premiers, The Bar, seemed to halt their slide on Saturday when they bundled out Marist Brothers for 174 on a batsmen-friendly deck at Oakes Oval. After a faltering start to the season and some recent losses, The Bars captain Duncan Elphick dropped himself in favour of power house all-rounder Brett Crawford. Crawford responded well to his new responsibilities by decimating the Brethrens middle order, capturing Chris Matthews, Pat Foran and Craig Ferguson all LBW in quick succession. However, Crawfords finger-tip deflection to run out Corey Bodley was definitely a turning point. That said, even Crawfords efforts were over-shadowed by the energetic fast bowling of Luke Shay, who tore through the top order to pick up 5 for 24. Corey Bodley (66), was one of the few batsmen to get forward and take advantage of the placid pitch conditions. Under 16 Kane Hamilton looked at ease at the top of TheBar innings as they cruised to 0 for 22 at stumps. A loss will mean Marist drop out of the top four.
Regular finalists, Casino, have also been struggling to make the top four with the representative season cutting deep into their batting stocks. However, when this weekends game continues, the Cavaliers will be back to full strength and after dismissing The Hawks for just 157 they should feel confident. Only Nathan Bonamy (78) looked at ease on the questionable Queen Elizabeth Park pitch. The graceful right-hander made the two paced wicket seem almost decent, whilst around him, The Hawks wickets tumbled. Al Nowlans (4 for 28) off-cutters and Wade Sweeneys brisk away swing took the vital early wickets.
Ballina Bears season in the sun continued on Saturday with young Sam Adams clobbering a mature 103 n.o. as the seasiders put on 7 for 290 by stumps. Toby Horden, who doesnt mind hitting over the top either, scored 69 as they set the Bears on the road to the prodigious first innings total. The Pirates bowlers toiled hard with only James Lewis (3 for 61) getting any return for his efforts.
In a lopsided encounter on Nesbitt Park, Souths oldest stagers Rex Parrish (104n.o.)and Steve Fedricks (102) put on an opening stand of 206 from 55 overs. Despite chasing leather all afternoon, the Maroons never dropped their heads and their spirited display was an inspiration to all that watched them. This mightnt be their year, but their time will come. Souths declared at 1 for 265 and then had Workers 3 for 8 by stumps during which time Lenny Blok (1 for 3) beat the bat 12 times in three overs.
Eastern Districts captain Bruce Jobson threw caution to the wind on Saturday against Alstonville at Hill Park, declaring at 5 for 208 in the hope of forcing an outright against the lowly redsoilers. However, the tactic may yet backfire, with Alstonvilles Jamie Redmayne and Paul Kenyon guiding their team to 1 for 62 by stumps. Kenyon is a talented, young batsmen but hasnt shown the necessary commitment to succeed at this level, Perhaps now he might show some of his potential?
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