Brothers’ bats hold on
MARIST Brothers made a brave attempt to chase down Tintenbar-East Ballina’s imposing target of 383 on a Nielson Park batting deck at East Lismore rated as one of the best in a decade.
At least that was the assessment of Brothers’ captain Craig Ferguson after his team fought out a brave draw on Saturday in their two-day Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket match.
After the top order failed, Ben Cooper (66) and Dane Moreton (70) mounted a 71-run stand that had Ferguson hoping his team could overhaul Tintenbar-East Ballina’s big total.
But when those bats-men went, the chase became more a matter of survival until stumps, and Marist Brothers can take plenty of heart from their battling 8-225.
“First of all we thought that we would try to get a win, but when it became clear to us we were in no position to go for the runs then obviously a draw was going to be a lot better (than a loss),” Ferguson said.
“If we had not been two or three wickets down we could have looked at how we would approach getting the runs, but at that point we were pretty restricted in our options.
“Ben Cooper made 66 before anybody really knew it, and Dain Moreton’s 70 was as solid as a rock. It was a really classy innings.
“If we can get a little more out of our top-order batsmen, then I think it will give the rest of our line-up a lot of confidence.”
Ferguson rated Nielson Park as the best batting deck he’d seen there in a decade.
“What it showed was, what a good wicket it was for batting on and it produced a really interesting game tactically,” he said.
“Perhaps they may have declared earlier to give themselves more time to bowl us out.
“But I dare say if they had set us 300 or 320 we would have got those runs, so it was a pretty interesting game.
“What we were really happy about was that last season, in that sort of game, in that sort of situation, we normally would have got bowled out and ended up losing by a fair bit. Instead, our batsmen had a really solid day out.”
Another batting side to have a big day out was Ballina Bears in their match against South Tweed Colts at Dave Burns Field.
Resuming at 2-88 in reply to South Tweed’s first innings of 188, Bears went on to make 9-292 and then had South Tweed 3-40 in their second knock by the close of play.
Bears’ Sam Adams said he particularly enjoyed watching the batting of Dave Eddy (79) and Lee Pittavino (66).
“Lee did the hard work, because he went in at No 4 the week before. Dave Eddy then did all the big hitting,” Adams said.
Meanwhile, Alstonville claimed first innings points against Lismore Workers, but it was not without a fight.
Workers were bowled out for 255 in reply to Alstonville’s 8-343.
It was a fair effort given that at one stage Workers were 4-64 before Michael Knight (65) and Jeremy Cowin (25) mounted a fightback.
They took the score to 151 before Knight was trapped leg-before by Scott Petty, who finished with 4-19.
Workers also mounted some rearguard resistance with Jason Caught (53) and Dan Cierpiol (23 not out) putting on 76 for the last wicket.
Aside from Petty, Greg Potter was the pick of the bowlers with 6-50.
At Oakes Oval, the Casino Cavaliers cruised to first innings points, losing only three wickets on their way to overhauling Southern Districts’ meagre total of 115.
The Cavs replied with 3-120 as Sam Dietrich (36 not out) and Myles McDowell (21 not out) made light work of the job after the loss of three wickets on the first day.
At Brunswick Heads, the home team (143) claimed first-innings points against Lennox Head (108).
Matt Irwin was the chief destroyer for Brunswick-Byron with 4-15, while Tom Barry chipped in with 2-16.