Centurions champion run fest
In a weekend of big totals Tintenbar/East Ballina topped the list with a massive 8 for 323 as their batsmen took off in their match against South Tweed Colts at the Kingsford Smith aerodrome. Captain Brett Crawford led the way with a devastating 79, but he was more than ably supported by Phil Dalli (57), Mick Warburton (43) and Kane Hamilton (42). The run fest was also aided by Ballina Council, who had redrawn the boundary line some 10 metres closer to the wicket square for this game. Chances are the Colts will try to bat out a draw and they have a fair chance of managing it on what is an absolute belter of a wicket.
Murwillumbah made light work of the vaunted Souths attack at Rapjones Oval in Murwillumbah, reaching 8 for 287 by stumps. Opener Al Chapman scored 112 as the northerners made it clear they were not a spent force despite going winless so far in the competition. That said, Souths batting line up in an aggressive one, containing last years Player of the Year, Richard Nind, his brother and former baseball international Michael Nind, and former Sydney first grader Paul McLean. You can be sure they will go after the win.
Meanwhile, veteran opener Peter Leeson also brought up three figures for Byron/Brunswick against Ballina Bears. Leeson, an old world opener who treasures his wicket, rolled back the years as he led the resort dwellers to 8 for 234 at stumps. Although Leeson batted well the wicket was very flat and I expect Byron will bat for a further five over this Saturday to put the total out of Ballinas reach.
Terranora Lakes enjoyed the going on the hard flat deck at Heaps Oval in Lismore to be 9 for 230 when the umpire called time on Saturday. For Marist Brothers, only right arm seamer Toby Collings made any headway, coming away with figures of 4 for 53 from his 12 overs. This total might seem large but Heaps has short boundaries and a fast out field, so the Brethren have a good chance of running down anything under 250.
In the three remaining games Workers Club, Cudgen and Pottsville kicked the high scoring trend to be dismissed for 159, 171 and 132 respectively. In the Workers match against Alstonville fast bowler Terry Murphy inspired a post tea resurgence as he and nagging medium pacer, Ryan Oxenford, played crucial roles to reduce Workers innings to ashes. Workers, who were cruising at 3 for 128, lost their last seven wickets for just 30 runs. Workers opener Josh Mapstone led the way for the Maroons, scoring a very fortunate half century before Murphy drew an outside edge from a delivery which cramped the flashy right hander.
Meanwhile, Pottsville buckled under the accuracy and intensity of Casinos quicks Nowlan, Innes and Sweeney as the beef capital men bowled them over for 132. Casino were 1 for 85 after a solid start by two of their young representative stars, Scott Sheppard and Miles McDowell. Casino should win this easily but they need an outright if they want to be in title contention.
Competition leaders Lennox are also well placed, having bowled out Cudgen for 171 on Meagan Crescent Oval in Lennox Head. Veteran bowler Paul Milgate captured 4 for 52 from his 13 overs as the seasiders put on a bright display in the field. Lennox were 3 for 83 at stumps with the clean hitting Daniel McColl (38 n.o.) still at the wicket.
Casino were the last of the local sides to be knocked out of the SCG Country Cup competition on Sunday. In a innings riddled with rain breaks, Casino never really got going, totalling just 171 from their 50 overs in the match against Clarence River at Grafton. Wes Koskela and Sam Irvine scored in the twenties but that was the best the Casino blokes could muster. Considering the might of Lower Clarences middle order it was never going to be enough. Clarences big Bob McKenzie had the last word, hammered a unconquered century to seal the win. Clarence River punished Lismores attack in much the same way in the second round. The win put the big river blokes through to the round robin stage of the competition.
The Far North Coast Umpires and Scorers Association will hold a training session on Monday, December 10, at Nesbitt Park from 6pm. The session will be followed by the monthly meeting.