Marist Brothers’ Ben Cooper’s 96 on Saturday against Brunswick-Byron was an innings of maturity, says his captain Craig Ferguson.
Marist Brothers’ Ben Cooper’s 96 on Saturday against Brunswick-Byron was an innings of maturity, says his captain Craig Ferguson. David Nielsen

Brethren make a point

MARIST Brothers have had to endure a long time between drinks for outright bonus points in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League, but they were only too happy on Saturday to invite Brunswick-Byron players along to the party – again.

The Brethren kept their unbeaten record for the season intact when they set up a well-judged first innings lead of 103 and then set about destroying a hapless Brunswick-Byron at Oakes Oval in a second dig for just 73 runs in less than 26 overs.

It was one of two outright wins in a semi-depleted LJ Hooker League round that left only four games to be decided after Ballina Bears, Casino and Alstonville took up the option to complete their two-day game last weekend with first innings wins because of the Australia-West Indies Test at the Gabba.

Resuming at 2-83 in their chase of 167, Marist Brothers ran down the target without the loss of any more wickets thanks to some brilliant batting by 17-year-old Ben Cooper and captain Craig Ferguson before declaring at 5-265.

Cooper had batted impeccably at number four but was denied his first century of the season with an edge to the wicketkeeper on 96.

Ferguson carried his opening stand of 28 last week to 57 before he was dismissed, but was quick to heap the praise on Cooper after the match.

“It was the turning point, a mature innings played well above his years,” Ferguson said.

“He was out there for less than 30 overs in a chanceless display and certainly deserved a better result.”

Brunswick-Byron were never in the hunt of avoiding outright defeat with the loss of four wickets with only two runs on the board.

Opener Steve Prosser took up from where he left off last week with 3-16 in the first innings, taking two of the first three wickets then clinched another lower-order scalp to finish with 3-12.

Three other bowlers chimed in with two wickets each. The outright win was a point of discussion after the game.

“It’s our first for quite a few years,” Ferguson conceded.

“In fact, the last we can pinpoint was against Brunswick-Byron at least five seasons ago.

“It’s ironic, but I guess it falls into line with what the competition is doing this year, and we’ll be looking for a few more to make up for lost time.”

Pottsville rally

LENNOX HEAD scored the outright win expected of them at Pottsville, but it wasn’t without a glimmer of revival for the wayward Tweed side whose form has been woeful in the opening rounds.

After medium paceman Paul Milgate plundered the Pottsville line-up with a haul of 9-23 in its first innings total of 73 last Saturday, Lennox Head was forced to bat a second time after declaring at 4-192 to set up a lead of 120.

In a more spirited display Pottsville rallied for 149, losing only two wickets to Milgate who finished with match figures of 11-40.

Openers Daniel Emms (23) and Jake Reid (8) steered Lennox to the outright win without loss.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS overcame a mediocre start in their chase of Murwillumbah’s 131 at Rabjones Oval to pick up first innings points on the second day of their match.

The Lismore side had both openers back on the sideline with scores of 0 and 3 and in the innings four players made less than four runs.

Only innings of 69 by Mitchell Pickford and 61 by Craig Bateman allowed Southern Districts to declare on 7-211, allowing Murwillumbah to easily fend off an attempted outright when 3-70 after 30 overs.

IN the only other match on Saturday Terranora Lakes battled to make 149 in reply to Cudgen’s first innings of 261 in an all-Tweed affair at Reg Dalton Oval.

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