Pitch prep hampered by heavy rains
Green Options curator Tony Herman has been working feverishly with covers and the super-sopper to get Oakes Oval read for the big Pura Cup match, which runs from January 16-19. Herman managed to get a light roller onto the pitch by Tuesday afternoon and felt pretty confident the track would be up to speed by Monday morning. Herman has also found that the Council mower is too heavy for the sodden field and was forced to scout about for a lighter weight machine from one of the local golf courses. Granted the
rain holds off, the top-of-the-table clash should go ahead as planned. For more info and the chance to win Pura Cup tickets see front page.
Bears feel the brunt of bad weather
Possible semi finalists Ballina Bears will be aggrieved to learn that their one-day competition tilt has come to a premature end after a washout of their first round match against Norths/Goonellabah RSL. The Hawks finished higher on last years ladder and therefore they go through despite being cellar dwellers this year. Last years runners up Tintenbar/East Ballina will also profit from this rule as their washout against a rejuvenated Workers Club also sees them through to the second round.
Old head on young shoulders
It is often said in cricket circles that you cant put an old head on young shoulders but Simon Milenko is proving that saying wrong at every turn. The Under 17 Eastern Districts all-rounder has held the Waratah middle order together regularly this year. On the weekend Milenko (33) partnered an imperious Brett Ruttley (66) in a 68 run partnership to secure Easts a position in the next round after knocking off Lennox Heads 139 in just 35 overs. Easts tearaway Ian Gregory also excelled, picking up 4 for 23 from his nine overs.
Arch promotes Alstonville
Despite going down to Marist Brothers, Alstonville will make it through to the next round with the highest average of any of the losing teams. The redsoilers can thank Tony Arch (46) for their progression after the recently promoted batsmen caned spinner Stuart Fiedler for 26 off the last over to push Alstonvilles total to 7-139. Sundries top scored for Marist Brothers in the rain shortened fixture with 36.
Souths, last years premiers and runners up in the one-day knockout, tumbled out of the competition on Saturday when Casinos top order fired up on a rain affected pitch. Casino, the one-day champions, are blessed with a powerful top order and they took on arguable the best attack in the competition and won.
The future secure
The future of Far North Coast cricket seems assured after our Under 13s and Under 12s teams outplayed teams from across NSW and southern Queensland. The Far North Coast squad took out the LJ Hooker Ballina Under 13s and in Lismore, Far North Coast Gold went through undefeated to share the Lismore Workers Club Under 12 title with Central Coast after rain washed out the final days play.
Apart from the local teams dominance, it was interesting to note how many young girls played in the 14-team Under 12 competition. Whats more, the girls tended to champion their squads.