A rare week in the local league
It was a rare week in the Hooker League, with some exceptional all-round performances by match winners across the district, notably Brett Crawford, Terry Murphy and Michael Nind.
Tintenbar v South Tweed Colts
An all-rounder is someone who bats and bowls well, but an all-rounder who opens both the bowling and the batting is a rare creature indeed. An all-rounder who opens the batting and regularly top scores then opens the bowling and takes the lions share of the wickets is a one-off and Tintenbars Brett Crawford is just such a one. Crawford top scored last weekend with 79 brutal runs then gorged himself on Colts wickets on Saturday, picking up figures of 5 for 13 from 17 frugal overs. That is not to say that the giant bloodnut did it alone. It would be more correct to say that Crawford is a confidence player and as he lifts, so does the team around him. In short, this is not a good time to play Tintenbar.
Alstonville v Workers
In a weekend of unusual occurrences, the match between Workers and Alstonville came down to one last swing of the bat. Having batted slowly and carefully to be 3 for 128, thanks to a patient half century by Greg Potter (pictured), Alstonville fell in a hole to be 9 for 143 chasing 159. Throwing caution to the wind, opening bowler Terry Murphy grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck, swinging murderously at anything short or wide. Murphys quickfire innings lifted Alstonville to 9 for 158 when he slogged a ball hard and long to deep mid-off where Luke Davis moved quickly to get two hands on the ball. The ball burst through his hands and went for four. Victory for a jubilant and relieved Alstonville by one wicket. Sullen disappointment for Workers, who had dropped Murphy three times in four overs and had a close LBW turned down.
Souths v Murwillumbah
Souths wicket keeper batsmen, Michael Nind (70), followed up a good day with the gloves last weekend, where he took four catches, to top score for Souths as they cantered to victory in Murwillumabah. Set a prodigious 287, Souths deep and powerful batting line-up all made solid contributions as the Lismore men ran down the total with four overs to spare.
Casino v Pottsville
The Cavaliers young guns Miles McDowell (40), Scott Sheppard (60), Sam Irvine (55) and Sam Dietrich (34) set up an outright victory over Pottsville. They hammered 194 from 50 overs, giving Casinos barrage of pace bowlers the time to roll the cellar dwellers for a second time. Wade Sweeney led the charge with the ball for the men from the beef capital, capturing 4 for 20. The win has Casino back in contention for the title.
Ballina v Brunswick Byron
Ballina Bears captain Shane Jacobs would still need to be taking sedatives after his opening bowlers, Rob Dorey and Daniel Knights, decided to go home early, leaving the team to lose by a single run on Saturday. The bowlers, apparently miffed at not being given a bowl during the last five overs of Byrons innings, thought that the match was well and truly in hand and went home with Ballina cruising at 2 for 150, chasing 252. A collapse ensued and Ballina were left with one over and four balls to win the match when the eighth wicket fell. Alas, the tail enders were presumably at home with their feet up watching the tele, and there was no one to walk to the crease. The Ballina tragedy was made all the more Shakespearian by English import Josh Fleming, who championed the should have been successful run chase with a century.
Marist v Terranora
Two sharp run-outs proved the turning point in the match between Terranora Lakes and Marist Brothers, with Marist captain Luke Collings and Brothers top scorer Ben Wraight (70) both being caught short as the Tweed players turned in an excellent display of ground fielding. The run-outs, which came in a space of just three overs, took the wind out of the Brethrens innings as the run chase devolved into a desperate fight for survival. Sadly for Brothers their attempt to hold out for a draw fell two overs shy of the mark, as they were bowled out for 166, 66 runs short of Terranoras total. It was a tight display of bowling on a good wicket by the men from the lakes with angling right arm medium pacer Josh Bonnor (4 for 18) coming away with the best figures.
Lennox v Cudgen
Despite a fighting 54 from Lennox Head opener Daniel McColl, Lennox fell four runs short of Cudgens 171 at Meegan Crescent Oval in Lennox Head. The loss meant that Cudgen swapped the competition lead with Lennox.
Locals to play in Bradman Cup
Four local players have earned themselves a spot in the regional team which will play in the Under 16 Bradman Cup Carnival in Coffs Harbour from January 7 to 10.
The four players selected were Corndales hard-hitting left-hander Ben Cooper, powerful all-rounder Abe Crawford from Ballina, the technically correct Kristian Essy from Alstonville and Lennox Heads Harry Pye.
School holiday cricket coaching
St Johns College Woodlawn, in concert with the Department of Sport and Recreation, will once again host this summers Holiday Cricket Clinic. Led by third-level head coach Stan Gilchrist (Adams dad), the three-day clinic, from January 21 to 23, offers young cricketers valuable hints and clues to lift their performance. For more information phone NSW Sport and Recreation on 6618 0400.