Brothers slay another giant
MARIST BROTHERS have killed their second giant in a fortnight by defeating Ballina Bears at Nielson Park, East Lismore, in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket on Saturday.
Brothers brought down former competition leaders Cudgen the previous week to leave Ballina in top spot, then then bowled Bears out 21 runs shy of their total to cement fourth spot.
It is 13 years since Brothers have made the semi-finals.
Captain Craig Ferguson paid the ultimate compliment to all-rounder Stuart Rose, the man who turned the game in Brothers’ favour, firstly with the bat and then in the field.
Batting at No 8, Rose made a quickfire 31 not out, took a brilliant outfield catch to remove the dangerous Ben Riley (51), then effected a long-range run out to seal the victory.
“I don’t know how he does it,” Ferguson said.
“He is built like Hagrid from Harry Potter, a real big bloke.
“The way he scooted around the boundary, picked the ball up in one hand and then delivered it right over the stumps to get the run out was unbelievable.
“It was outstanding fielding in the deep, he won us the game.”
On the back of the win Brothers are now firmly in fourth spot, eight points ahead of Alstonville and just nine behind the first-placed Casino Cavaliers – a deficit which they could conceivably close with what looks like an easy run home.
Ferguson’s men face middle-of-the-ladder teams Southern Districts and South Tweed Colts in the next fortnight before finishing with two teams in the bottom three, Murwillumbah and Lismore Workers.
But the captain is unsure if the soft run to the finals will be good or bad for Brothers.
“You can look at it two ways,” he said.
“At least we know our destiny is in our own hands, but sometimes it is better to play the tough teams in the closing rounds.
“And you can’t just pencil in a win against any team.
“We were in a similar position last year where everyone expected us to beat Souths easily but we took our minds off the job and got rolled.”
For Ferguson, the pressing point is the form of his own team who he hopes will play the same regardless of the opposition.
“We are playing really good cricket now and that is all that worries me,” he said.