Crawford scores epic 166
By STEVE SPINKS
DESPITE being a Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket veteran, Tintenbar-East Ballina all-rounder Brett Crawford had scored only one century.
That changed on Saturday in the most emphatic way when the gifted right-hander plundered 166 not out against Norths-Goonellabah RSL in their semi-final at Heaps Oval, Lismore.
Crawford opened the batting and was at the crease throughout the day as the 'Bar reached the massive total of 6-357 declared.
In reply, the Hawks were bowled out for 264 yesterday on a slightly water-affected wicket (see back page).
"It's my highest score ever," Crawford said.
"I had a little bit of luck throughout the day."
When Crawford was in his 60s he was bowled ... but the delivery was a no-ball.
The 29-year-old's first Hooker League century was last season.
"There was a bit of fire in the belly yesterday (Saturday)," Crawford admitted.
"I'm very, very sore today (Sunday)."
Captain Duncan Elphick was ecstatic for his dependable opener.
"It was a really good innings to watch," Elphick said.
"He really applied himself.
"He went out there and just blazed them and to bat as long as he did was a great effort."
Nearly every Tintenbar batsman contributed on Saturday.
Besides Crawford's massive score, Luke Shay hit a half-century, Scott Hogden made 44, Phil Dalli 29, Mick Gabriel 27 and Kent Shay 21.
Gabriel was a late call-up to the side when youngster James Fosterling withdrew with injury.
Norths-Goonellabah RSL's attack suffered accordingly, with Nathan Bonamy (3-50) and Sean Mead (2-42) the pick of the bowlers.
The pitch was watered overnight and the Hawks resumed on a wicket slightly affected by the mistake.
However, it didn't seem to worry aggressive opener Rodney Wells, who raced to 64 before being caught.
The rest of the Hawks' strong top-order failed to fire, so it was left to Nathan Bonamy (82), Steve Lockhart (23) and Nathan Bell (28) to salvage the innings.
However, their fightback was too little too late and Tintenbar-East Ballina progressed to their fourth final in five seasons.
Mark Grant (3-81), Mark Newstead (2-28), Brett Crawford (2-31) and Dave Tickle (2-28) shared the spoils for the 'Bar attack.
Tintenbar will play Souths in the final at Oakes Oval next weekend.
TINTENBAR-EAST BALLINA v NORTHS-GOONELLABAH RSL
(at Heaps Oval, Lismore)
Tintenbar-East Ballina won the toss
TINTENBAR-EAST BALLINA 1st innings: M Warburton, c Hampson b Bonamy 3 B Crawford, not out 166 P Dalli, c Lockhart b Mead 29 K Shay, c Wells b Bonamy 21 M Gabriel, b Lockhart 27 S Hogden, c Lockhart b Mead 44 L Shay, c Mead b Bonamy 50
TOTAL 6-357 declared
Fall: 19 68 112 168 258 357.
Bowling: N Bonamy 14-4-50-3, J Hampson 14-1-66-0, N Bell 23-5-97-0, S Mead 17-5-42-2, S Lockhart 22-9-49-1, B Walker 8-1-42-0.
NORTHS-GOONELLABAH RSL 1st innings:
B Walker, c and b Crawford 5 R Wells, c K Shay b Tickle 64 J Henderson, c Warburton b Crawford 6 D Henderson, b Tickle 1 S Mead, lbw Grant 12 A Osborne, st Hogden b Grant 0 D Cox, c Warburton b Newstead 16 N Bonamy, c Elphick b Gabriel 82 S Lockhart, c L Shay b Newstead 23 N Bell, c Elphick b Grant 28 J Hampson, not out 9
Fall: 47 61 64 89 89 91 195 212 232 264.
Bowling: M Newstead 10-2-28-2, M Grant 15.3-2-81-3, L Shay 15-4-39-0, B Crawford 14-4-31-2, D Tickle 9-1-28-2, D Elphick 3-0-17-0, M Gabriel 5-1-32-1.
Tintenbar-East Ballina won.