Ballina Bears miss the semi-finals by one point
BALLINA Bears have missed out on the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket semi-finals by a single point.
A two-wicket win over Pottsville at Fripp Oval, Ballina gave them a chance but they had to rely on other results going there way.
Bears finished 8-200 chasing 198 with all-rounder Sam Adams (39) and top order batsmen Tyson Cox (37) and Toby Hordern (36) contributing.
The in-form Sabah Syed was the pick of the Pottsville bowlers finishing with five wickets.
Bears were in a rebuilding year with the likes of Tyson Cox and Nick Watson coming into the team.
Captain Justin Moore was a consistent performer with the bat while all-rounder Ben Carruthers had one of his best years scoring 472 runs and taking 18 wickets.
Coach Phil Melville was disappointed they did not scrape fourth and to get a crack at minor premiers Cudgen.
"We've had some good tussles with Cudgen and the boys always look forward to playing them,” Melville said.
"We lost a few games this year that we should have won but we'll learn from that.
"It's been a rebuilding year bringing some of the younger guys in and that will put us in good stead for the next few years.”
In the other games, Tintenbar-East Ballina (301) sealed fourth spot with a win over Casino RSM Cavaliers (184) at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.
Top-order batsman Sam Irvine fared the best for the Cavaliers scoring 75 runs in his final game.
Elsewhere, the Marist Brothers and Lennox Head game at Oakes Oval, Lismore was washed out.
Cudgen finished first and split the points with Alstonville with their second day also washed out.