North Coast stuns Newcastle
By STEVE SPINKS
A CENTURY partnership between Casino young guns Sam Irvine and Sam Dietrich has helped North Coast produce the upset of the NSW Country Cricket Championship at Dubbo when they defeated perennial favourites Newcastle in the opening round.
Irvine hit 70 and Dietrich 44 not out in a decisive 115-run partnership that helped guide the young North Coast team past the mediocre Newcastle total of 185 with 12 overs to spare in the 60-overs-a-side match.
Besides captain Billy Newell and former Sydney grade cricketer Darryl Parmenter, all the North Coast players are eligible for the Under-21 1team later in the year.
Irvine, who batted at No 3, and Dietrich, who batted at No 5, came together with plenty of work to do.
North Coast openers Adam Turner and Ben Davis combined for a 44-run partnership before the Coasties lost three quick wickets, including that of Parmenter.
But Irvine and Dietrich showed maturity beyond their years as they faced down the highly-rated Newcastle attack.
Irvine was caught from a hook shot with North Coast requiring 13 to win.
Earlier, Lismore's Matt Parrish (0-27 off seven overs) and Casino's Scott Shephard (2-26 off seven) played their part as the North Coast attack surprised the Newcastle batsmen headed by NSW Country players Simon Moore and Robert Faraday.
Parrish opened the bowling and was unlucky to finish without a wicket after having an easy catch dropped.
Shephard chimed in for two late wickets as Newcastle slumped to 185.
However, the pick of the attack was Newell, who took three wickets, along with Pakistani paceman Adnan Suleman, a late call-up.
Suleman, who now lives at Wauchope, took the key wickets of Moore and Faraday, and also knocked over Matt Frith, who has been named as a possible Country player this season.
North Coast take on Southern today before playing their final game tomorrow.