Four first ball puts the ?Bar on track
FIRST ball of the season and it's a lofted straight drive for four.
If you're looking for early-season omens in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket, don't go past Tintenbar-East Ballina's huge 5-308 against Eastern Districts at Kingsford Smith South, Ballina, on Saturday.
Opening batsman Brett Crawford smashed the first ball of the day ? and the season for that matter ? back over the head of Easts opening bowler Brett Ruttley for four.
"Crawfo was 28 before Mick (Warburton, the other opener) got off the mark," Tintenbar captain Duncan Elphick said.
"He hit the first ball of the season for four straight over the bowler's head to get the ball rolling.
"But everyone batted well in partnerships all day."
Crawford reached 47 before falling to left-arm medium-pacer Dale Ledger.
However, Phil Dalli, fresh from a season off, kept the innings ticking over with 65.
In fact, all the Tintenbar-East Ballina batsmen made starts.
Perhaps the outstanding innings of the day was from young right-hander Scott Hogden (68 not out).
Hogden, who is completing his HSCat Southern Cross K-12 School this year, played first grade all last season, but thist was by far his highest score.
"He might do a bit of 'keeping this year as well," Elphick said.
"We have a good mix of some old fellas and three good young juniors."
The other juniors are batsman Jay Fosterling, who scored 26 in a partnership of 50 with his young team-mate, and right-arm medium-pacer Dave Tickle, who also played some first grade last season.
Despite the massive total, Elphick, who is also the curator of the new turf wicket at Kingsford Smith Park South, believes the 'Bar will have to bowl well this Saturday.
"We'll have to bowl nice and straight," he said.
"There's not much in it for the bowlers ... it (the pitch) won't do anything drastic."
Young seamer Jake McKinnon recorded Easts' best figures with 2-45 off 10 overs.