Premiership goes down to the wire

Left: South Tweed Colts opening bowler Chris Carroll knows bowling is all about how you hold your tongue. Chris bustled through Alstonvilles young top order, picking up 3 for 19 at Hill Park on Saturday.Right: Alstonville were missing their entire top order so Josh Slater batted at five, regularly missing the full tossers on offer until one bowled him. Fellow opening bowler Terry Murphy top scored with 48. Alstonville managed 135 but the Colts were already 3 down for 98 at stumps in the teams last match of the year.

The Hooker League minor premiership will come down to the wire this weekend with three teams a solid chance of capturing the pointscore title. Competition front runner Tintenbar East Ballina, who have been cruising at the top of the table, look like they may fall at the last hurdle, opening the way for the winner of the Souths/Cudgen match to snatch the title.

NSW Aboriginal cricket captain Andrew Gordon captured the three prize wickets of Brett Crawford, Phil Dalli and Mick Warburton on Saturday as The Bar were tumbled out for a moderate 187. Duncan Elphick top scored for the The Bar with 54. Gordon then followed up his work with the ball scoring 59, which included 11 fours, as he took the vaunted Tintenbar attack by the scruff of the neck and smashed them up against the pickets. The Bears finished the day 1 for 77 off a mere 12 overs and with a big chance of spoiling what could have been a perfect season for the men with the big maroon hats.

Meanwhile, a massive middle order collapse by Souths has turned what looked like an easy win into a cliffhanger at Reg Dalton Field in Cudgen. Earlier in the day Cudgen had fallen in a heap against Lismores perennial champions as big Lenny Blok (4 for 47) rolled the top order and pint-sized leggy Jake Nind went through their tail like a dose of salts, capturing 3 for 9.

Souths would have felt confident of running down that score but Queensland Country opening bowler Michael Anderson had other ideas and sent five batsmen back to the pavilion in a sizzling six-over spell. This brought Blok to the wicket and in a partnership with veteran Rex Parrish, the pair steadied the ship, getting to stumps 6 down for 88. Although this looks precarious, Souths bat all the way to 11 and they would have to be favoured to pick up the remaining 38 for victory (just dont tell Anderson that).

Although Marist Brothers managed a highly defendable 223 against fourth-placed Casino, Pottsville did enough to put an outright victory out of sight for Byron Brunswick, scoring 127. An outright is what the resort-men need to beat Casino into the finals. So even if Brothers provide their supporters with a face saving last ditch victory, Casino should still be in the mix for the finals.


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