Bush Blues? batting fires
By STEVE SPINKS
THE NSW Country batting line-up, led by captain Simon Moore with 85, flexed its muscles against South Australia Country before falling away late in the day to be all out for 276 in the fourth round of the Australian Country Cricket Championship.
The Bush Blues' top-order enjoyed the pitch at Thompson Oval, Brunswick Heads, and at one stage looked set for a score of well over 300.
However, SACountry fought back to ensure NSW Country would have to fight for the win.
For Moore, it was a relief to be among the runs again as he has had a lean carnival.
"It's been pretty poor for me personally," the Merewether No3 admitted.
"It was just good to get some time at the crease.
"The wickets have been good all carnival, so it was good to score some runs for the team, which is what I'm here for."
This is Moore's sixth ACCC.
The highly-rated batsman flirted with Sydney grade cricket, but in the end he decided he wasn't enjoying himself.
"I played a year at North Sydney as an 18-year-old," he said. "I didn't much like it so I decided to go back to Newcastle."
The 27-year-old right-hander admitted he was a little disappointed with the Bush Blues' total against the Croweaters.
"We were well positioned at tea, but we didn't go on with it," he said.
Moore was well supported by Central Coast bat Aaron Alley (48) and Corndale's Tom Cooper (44).
With Cooper and Moore at the crease, the Bush Blues were cruising at 2-200.
Andy Paltridge (4-83) and Michael Johnston (4-76) led the SA fightback.
At Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, Queensland Country are in control and may even push for outright points today against East Asia Pacific.
The Islanders were bowled out for 143 with only Jamie Brazier (72) offering much resistance.
Queensland opening bowlers Ben Cust (5-26) and Jason Stein (5-50) did the damage.
Queensland will resume at 1-100 this morning.
Victoria Country may have a slight edge against WACountry at Nielson Park, East Lismore.
WA were bowled out for 162 after looking comfortable at 2-100. In reply, Victoria are 3-35.