Bears on top as Jacobs returns
By Steve Spinks
Veteran paceman Shane Jacobs ended a brief retirement to help Ballina Bears into a strong position against Lismore Workers at Fripp Oval, Ballina, in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket on Saturday.
Jacobs has been a permanent member of the Bears first grade team since the start of the Hooker League in the 1994-95 season.
This season he decided to have a rest from the game, but didn't stop all association with cricket.
Far from it.
He still spends numerous hours every week at Fripp Oval as the club curator.
"He wanted to have a bit of time off this year," Bears captain Andrew Gordon said.
"But he was always going to come back for the last few games.
"He's done a great job as curator and it was good to see him back bowling.
"He was puffing after a while but he did a good job and got three wickets."
Jacobs finished with figures of 3-20 off 8.1 overs.
The best figures were captured by medium-pacer Sam Rippon, who took 3-12 off 10 overs, while Adam Izzard (2-4) and Gordon (2-28) helped clean up the tail.
The match started late because the pitch was wet and early batting was not easy.
"It was a good toss to win," Gordon said.
"They batted well early, but we ripped through them after that and the pitch got easier to bat on as the day went on."
Only Workers opener Alan Glasby (34) and No4 batsman Matt Boyd (24) looked comfortable on the jumpy pitch.
Workers reached 3-61, but then lost 7-35 to be all out for 96.
In reply, Bears are 1-44 with Lee Barnett (32) and Andrew Gordon (5) the not out batsmen.
The Fripp Oval match was the only Hooker League game to get started on Saturday after rain last week prevented wickets being prepared for the other four fixtures.
It puts Bears in a good position.
If they can win outright, they could force their way back into semi-final calculations, safe in the knowledge that each of the other four Hooker League matches will produce only first-innings points when they are played as a one-dayers this Saturday.