Tintenbar recovers to send Cudgen packing

By Adam Hicks sport@northernstar.com.au A LOWER-ORDER revival from Tintenbar-East Ballina paved the way for a 124-run win over Cudgen in the Far North Coast cricket LJ Hooker League semi-final at Kingsford Smith South yesterday.

The 'Bar were sent into bat and capitalised on a good pitch with opener Phil Dalli posting 62.

Captain Brett Crawford was caught on 14 trying to play a high ball and Mark Warburton reached 28 to see the minor premiers at 3-115.

But a middle-order collapse had the hosts in trouble at 6-123 before Luke Shay and Duncan Elphick took the attack to the respected Cudgen attack.

Shay managed 52 and Elphick reached 42 as the pair combined for an 89-run seventh wicket partnership.

Further resistance came from Scott Hogden who posted 17, then from Mark Newstead and Abe Crawford who put on an unbeaten 40-run final wicket partnership.

Remarkably, 15-year-old Abe Crawford posted 32 not out which saw the 'Bar post 9-281.

In reply, Cudgen's top-order fought hard through the new ball and reached 2-50 before Luke Shay destroyed the middle-lower order.

Cudgen finished with 157.

Shay effectively ended the top Tweed team's season with a match-best 6-32 from 11 overs.

"I suppose it was just one of those days when it all happened right," he said.

"It wasn't just me, it was the rest of the team. They had to take the catches."

Shay's half-century was his season's highest total with the bat and could not have been timed better.

"Duncan Elphick batted really well. He just said to me, 'Don't have a hack like you usually do'," he said.

"We just stuck to the original plan to bat out the overs.

"They actually bowled really well ... a good line, tied us down and made it hard to get them away."

Captain Crawford said it was his team's ability to recover that won them the match.

"After we were six down, we would've been happy with 220," he said.

"We just had to hang in there and bat the day out. That's all we tried to do.

"We knew they'd get tired and the boys put the runs on in the last 30 minutes."

Crawford also said Shay's efforts highlighted a great performance by the team's bowling attack.

"We had them 3-92 at lunch, then we took three really quick wickets," he said.

"They lost 3-6 after lunch ... that was their middle-order, a couple of strong bats, and they didn't have much after that."

Tintenbar-East Ballina will host Casino Cavaliers next weekend at Kingsford Smith South in the final.

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