Tintenbar pitch lends a hand ... at long last
By STEVE SPINKS
LUKE Shay, Mark Newstead, Mark Grant and Dave Tickle were a happy quartet of cricketers on Sunday afternoon.
Not only had they skittled Casino ? one of the top Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket teams ? for 46 runs, but their home pitch of Kingsford Smith South, Ballina, had finally offered some assistance.
Since being opened a year ago KSS has been a batsman's paradise.
Only once before Sunday has a team posted a winning total under 200 runs on the newest pitch on the Far North Coast.
Casino's total of 46 is the lowest in the wicket's short history.
After electing to bat, Tintenbar-East Ballina struggled to 132 on Saturday with only the reliable Phil Dalli (40 not out) at ease at the crease.
Remarkably, the equal top-scorer for the 'Bar was sundries ... with 40.
All of the Casino attack chipped in with Wade Sweeney (3-12), Mark Mison (2-17) and Jason Myers (2-27) the pick of the bowlers.
Normally, chasing 132 on KSS would hold little fear for Casino.
However, on Sunday Tintenbar-East Ballina, led by 'short-slinger' Shay with 4-25, only needed 23.2 overs to knock over the Cavaliers.
Grant (3-10), Newstead (2-7) and Tickle (1-3) all contributed to the Cavs' downfall.
There are a number of excuses Casino could use.
They were missing a number of key batsmen, the pitch was slightly rain-affected and the ground was recuperating from the Australian Country Cricket Championship match between East Asia Pacific and Queensland last week.
But 46 is a dismal performance by any team.
"There was a little bit in the wicket," 'Bar captain Brett Crawford admitted.
"There was a little more bounce and a little more seam.
"But put it this way, we won the toss and batted."
The Casino versus Tintenbar-East Ballina match was played on Saturday and Sunday because the Cavaliers are attending a regular carnival in Queensland this weekend.
Despite losing some time to rain, Southern Districts posted a competitive total of 8-186 against Alstonville at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar, on Saturday.
Most of the Souths batting line-up made a start, with Rex Parrish (47), Paul McLean (37) and Anthony Nind (30) the top-scorers.
Lismore Workers are on the cusp of an upset against Eastern Districts at Nesbitt Park, South Lismore.
Workers rolled Easts for 93, with only Bruce Jobson (44) impressing with the bat.
Mick Knight was the destroyer, picking up 5-10, while Workers captain Les McGuire chipped in with 3-12.
In reply, Workers were 1-27 at stumps.
The other two Hooker League matches between Marist Brothers and Lennox Head and Norths-Goonellabah RSL and Ballina Bears were washed out.
Both fixtures will now be played as one-day matches this Saturday.