Gordon inspires Bears fightback
By STEVE SPINKS
BALLINA BEARS captain Andrew Gordon turned in a magnificent all-round effort to help his team avoid outright defeat against Casino Cavaliers in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket on Saturday.
Bears were in mighty trouble at the start of play at 3-28 in their second innings after surrendering first innings points the weekend before at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.
However, Gordon followed up his team's top-score of 18 from the first innings with 56 in the second to lead Bears to a more respectable 190.
He then almost led his side to an unlikely victory as he claimed 5-37 to help reduce the Cavaliers to 9-140, still 15 runs short of a Casino outright win ? and only one wicket away from an amazing Bears comeback victory.
Gordon's 5-37 went well with the 4-30 he had claimed in the first innings.
But he didn't do it alone.
Sam Adams backed up Gordon with a a determined 49 not out at No10 in the second innings, while Gordon's father Mick made 26.
Adams then picked up 2-34 with his off-spinners.
The Cavaliers just couldn't land the knockout blow as Bears batted sensibly.
Dylan Huntley claimed 3-13, Mark Mison 3-20 and Al Nowlan 2-48, but the final equation meant the Cavs had to make 155 off 29 overs.
They started brightly enough with Adam Shields (37), Sam Irvine (35) and Todd Summers (34) all contributing well, but after reaching 3-100 Casino regularly lost wickets in their quest for the outright.
In the end, tailenders Mison and Huntley had to hang on grimly to avoid the Cavaliers losing outright.
Marist Brothers also avoided outright defeat after a fighting 51 from wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Collings allowed the Brethren to post a competitive second innings total of 8-138 declared.
Chris Matthews backed up his opener with 26 as Brothers made a sporting declaration only 107 runs in front.
Paceman Ian Gregory finished with 10 wickets for the match after snaring 6-19 in the first innings and 4-33 in the second.
Easts were allowed 23 overs to get the runs and finished at 7-83 with youngster Simon Milenko showing his potential with a first-grade top score of 40 not out.
However, the home team was never really in charge of the run-chase after they slumped to 6-29 with Adam Thompson (4-35) and Jay Harris (2-23) doing the early damage.