NSW still a chance
By STEVE SPINKS
AS unlikely as it seemed last week, NSW Country is still in with a chance of claiming the Australian Country Cricket Championship after results went the way of the Bush Blues yesterday.
NSW Country had a comprehensive victory over Western Australia Country at Fripp Oval, Ballina, with Lismore paceman Ian Gregory snaring 3-20 in the Sandgropers' first innings effort of 71.
The Bush Blues enforced the follow-on and had WA in trouble again at 4-92 in the second innings when the 100 overs were completed.
Newcastle leg-spinner Ben Woolmer had another field day, picking up 4-20 in the first innings and two more wickets in the WA second dig.
He has now taken an amazing 21 scalps from three matches.
The big result was Queensland Country's strong win over Victoria Country at Oakes Oval, Lismore.
The Vics were never really in the hunt chasing the Maroons' 7-352.
The defending champions were all out for 160 in their first innings with all of the Queensland attack ? Jason Stein (2-36), Keith Charles (2-33), Ben Cust (2-27) and Michael Salerno (2-23) ? chipping in.
Brad Glenn (54) and Steve Ahmet (47) made the best contributions for Victoria.
Queensland are now the only undefeated team.
They play East Asia Pacific today and tomorrow, but their last match is against NSW Country on Friday and Saturday.
It is possible that if NSW beat South Australia and Queensland, they could take the title.
The winner would be decided on percentages with Victoria, Queensland and NSW all vying for top spot.
In the other match completed yesterday, East Asia Pacific fell 49 runs short of the South Australia Country total of 274.
The Islanders had a good shot with Munir Ahmad (48), John Ovia (35), Kauna Vagi (33), Arua Uda (26), Andrew Mansale (26) and Jamie Brazier (22) all making contributions.
But no-one went on to make a big score and that proved the difference between the teams.