Souths surge to the top
By STEVE SPINKS
SOUTHERN Districts, led by policeman Paul Fredericks, surged to the top of the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket table after a comprehensive first innings victory over Alstonville at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar, on Saturday.
Fredericks, a medium-fast bowler, snared 4-18 off 11 overs including four maidens as Souths bowled out Alstonville for 134, which was well short of their total of 9-223 declared.
The Lismore policeman is so often the bit-part player in the Souths attack behind spearheads Len Blok and Craig Bateman.
However, that changed on Saturday as he wrecked Alstonville's top order and captured the prize wicket of classy No3 Greg Potter for 19.
Fredericks was well backed-up by off-spinner Paul McLean who captured 3-45 at the end of the innings.
Earlier in the day, Souths had resumed at 7-186 and pushed through to 9-223 with all-rounder Blok making his highest score of the season with 51.
He was well supported by new ball opening partner Bateman who chimed in with 23.
All hope of a victory for Alstonville was thwarted early with Fredericks on fire.
However, Lee Sullivan (28), Jason Hughes (24) and Josh Murphy (20 not out) ensured Alstonville at least made it over 100.
Souths leapfrogged Norths-Goonellabah RSL and the Casino Cavaliers who both suffered defeats this round.
There were a couple of other unexpected results.
Lismore Workers gained a first innings win over Easts at Nesbitt Park, South Lismore.
Workers resumed at 1-27 chasing 94 for victory and passed the total with six wickets down despite the best efforts of NSW Country paceman Ian Gregroy who took 4-35.
Workers were eventually all out for 126 with Alan Glasby scoring 34 at the top of the innings.
Workers unexpected victory means they leap-frog Easts into seventh position and leaves them only four points out of fourth position and a semi-final start.
The other surprising result was Ballina Bears comfortable win over the previous table-topping Norths-Goonellabah RSL at Fripp Oval, Ballina.
Bears set the Hawks 157 for victory in their one-day match (rain washed out the first day) and then bowled out the competition leaders for 120.
Ballina captain Andrew Gordon (30) and Brendan Davis (43) batted well, but the Bears were aided by the Hawks who let through 29 sundries, including 26 wides.
Spinner Steve Lockhart (3-17) was the pick of the Norths-Goonellabah RSL bowlers.
Brad Walker (40) and Daniel Cox (30) were the only Hawks batsmen to score over 10.
Gordon capped off a fine game with 2-22, while opening bowlers Sam Rippon (2-13) and Shane Staples (2-19) supported their captain well.
Bears sit only one point outside of the top-four.
Lennox Head kept their semi-final chances alive with a good win over Marist Brothers at Saunders Oval, Ballina.
Lennox restricted Brothers to 9-123 off their 45 overs (one-day match because rain washed out first day) and then cruised to 5-127 in reply.
Only captain Luke Collings (27) provided any resistance in the Brothers batting order, while Glen Watkins snared 3-13 for Lennox.
Ben Peterson (34) and Todd Fisher (44) then set the home side up.