Cavs fight-back began at drinks
By Adam Hicks
CASINO captain Mal Hancock produced an unbeaten 70 to guide the Cavaliers to a comeback win over Marist Brothers in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League. Needing 223 to finish the season in outright third, Casino suffered a top-order malfunction and crumbled to 5-29 before going on to reach 6-227. Brothers' Brendan Mitchell claimed the coveted scalps of Myles McDowell (7) Sam Dietrich (2) and Wes Koskela (6) to bring Hancock and Wade Sweeney to the crease. "We got out there and Mal just said to me to be there at drinks," Sweeney said. "Then when we made that he told me to be there at tea." The pair combined for a 98-run sixth-wicket partnership before Sweeney was caught for 61 off a Brenton Fuller delivery. That opened the door for Cavaliers' Sam Irvine to make a late entrance to the crease. Travelling from the Gold Coast where he has weekend coaching duties, Irvine arrived in time to put on a 100-run partnership with Hancock. Irvine, who usually bats at number three, came in at number eight and managed to reach 51 not out and see Casino secure a four-wicket win. Cavaliers' Wes Koskela said the comeback filled the side with confidence ahead of next week's finals. "Brothers bowled a good line and length and we played a couple of poor strokes and got ourselves out," Koskela said. "We just had to be more patient. Mal put on a good captain's knock. "He batted for 60 overs, just knocking them around. "It's good to know you can come back from that position ... it was a good fight-back." Brothers' Luke Collings, who scored 96 last week, said it was a match that got away. "We had them on toast," he said. "It probably typifies our season: we were on top and weren't able to finish them off. "We didn't drop any catches, they just fought their way back in."