Souths on song
By Steve Spinks
Southern Districts captain Richard Nind battled through the pain of a torn hamstring to lead his team to a second successive Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket premiership at Oakes Oval, Lismore, at the weekend.
Nind hit a game-high 92 in Souths innings' against Tintenbar-East Ballina on Saturday, but he required the help of a runner towards the end of his stay at the crease after the 38-year-old's hamstring went.
His 125-run partnership with all-rounder Lennard Blok (61) turned the defending premiers' precarious position of 5-120 into an imposing total of 284.
Yesterday, the 'Bar could manage only 180 in reply.
"It (the hamstring) was bloody sore last night (Saturday night)," Nind admitted.
"My brother Mick (Nind) was my runner and I probably got an extra 15 runs because of him."
Nind's 92 is his highest score in at least two seasons.
"I haven't got close to a hundred for a while," Nind said.
"I'm not that disappointed that I missed out.
"My main goal was just to make sure we got a competitive total."
The 'Bar were stung badly by two dropped catches, which probably cost them the match.
"I nicked one on my first ball," Nind said.
"It was a sharp one in slips and Lenard was dropped early as well.
"I guess those things happen ... but I really enjoyed being out there."
Rex Parrish (35) and Paul McLean (25) also contributed to Souths' big score, while Tintenbar-East Ballina all-rounder Brett Crawford was the pick of the attack with 4-65.
Mark Grant supported Crawford well, finishing with 3-75.
Tintenbar-East Ballina started their run-chase confidently yesterday, reaching 67 without loss.
But then disaster.
Semi-final century-maker Brett Crawford (37) was caught and then fellow opener Mick Warburton (22) was judged leg-before.
From then on the 'Bar struggled to keep up with the required run-rate as wickets steadily fell for the rest of the innings.
Kent Shay (27), Duncan Elphick (30) and Phil Dalli (22) tried hard, but the 'Bar needed one of their batsmen to go on to make a big score.
Seamer Scott Coster was the pick of the Souths bowlers ending with 3-32 off 20 overs. He took the key wickets off Crawford and Warburton.
"I have to mention Scott," Nind said. "He bowled 20 overs straight in the middle of the day."
Paul Fredericks (2-28) and Paul McLean (2-33) were also among the wickets.
Souths' victory completed a perfect season for the team dubbed Dad's Army.
Despite having an average age of 34, the premiers were undefeated in the two-day competition, while they lost only one match in the one-day competition: The final.
"This year is so much more gratifying than last year," Nind said.
"I'm pretty confident everyone's staying together next season."